Oregon church holds meeting to discuss ex-employee arrested for - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Oregon church holds meeting to discuss ex-employee arrested for child pornography

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Members of the People's United Methodist Church in Oregon were invited to an open meeting Sunday to discuss any remaining questions or concerns about a former employee arrested on child pornography charges last week.

Brandon Finch was fired from his position as a multimedia technician at the church last week after an investigation revealed he allegedly downloaded images of child pornography from the Internet. Authorities also say Finch had taken inappropriate pictures of children during church events.

Lead Pastor Jason Mahnke says Sunday's meeting was for people to voice any lingering concerns they may have about the situation.

"Folks know I have an open door policy, so they also, aside from this meeting, can come talk to me personally," says Mahnke. "This is really about caring for and supporting the people of the congregation."

Mahnke says most people have not been coming to him with concerns, but rather asking him how they can help.

"They've understood the situation from the communication we sent out to the congregation," says Mahnke. "It's been more prayers of support for those affected and for folks trying to care for the people who have been affected by the situation."

Finch was charged Friday with four counts of possessing child pornography. Those charges are unrelated to the images he took at church functions, since those photos are considered inappropriate, but not pornographic. Finch faces a minimum three year sentence if he is convicted on just one of the charges.
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