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Former Louisiana pastor John Ward, 45, was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison for two counts of child pornography production following a investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. John was a pastor at Bellview Baptist Church in Westlake, Louisiana. His prison sentence was on March 27, 2020.

John sexually abused a juvenile victim over a two year period and on two occasions coerced the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of capturing sexually explicit videos of the minor. John was serving as a pastor of Bellview Baptist Church at the time of his July 2019 arrest.

John started raping the child beginning when the child was only 10 years old. Shortly after John's arrest, he was fired from the church.

A U.S. District Judge sentenced John to 30 years for each count, to run consecutively, and a lifetime term of court supervision. In addition to the 720 month prison sentence, John was ordered to make restitution payments to the victim, register as a sex offender upon his release, and undergo a sex-offender treatment program that will include drug testing and lie-detector tests.

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John also cannot be around children without their parents present.

The Department of Homeland Security in New Orleans released this statement:

“Child exploitation investigations remain a top priority for HSI because children are one of the most vulnerable members of our society. These lengthy sentences are a gratifying outcome for the special agents who are unwavering in their dedication to finding sexual predators and bringing them to justice.”