Church youth leader Joseph Klug faces child porn charges

8:35 AM, Feb 25, 2010   |    comments
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By Mike Owens

Collinsville, Ill. -- The 29-year-old leader of a youth group at the Assemblies of God Church in Collinsville, Illinois is in federal custody, facing charges of producing and possessing child pornography.

Joseph Emil Klug was the leader of the Royal Rangers, a youth group that is for boys of grade school and high school age. The boys go camping and earn pins for various activities. Klug, as an adult leader, took an Indian sounding name, "Young Owl."

According to federal prosecutors, Klug cut a hole in a backpack, and placed the backpack in a tent with a camera pointing out. Prosecutors say Klug videotaped a young boy masturbating and put that video on the Internet.

Tom Kesteleyn, a leader of the Royal Rangers for the state of Illinois churches, says Klug has been released from the group. As soon as he learned of the charges, Kesteleyn says Klug no longer had contact with children and that he was out of the program.

A federal judge in East St. Louis held a hearing Tuesday for Klug and decided to hold him until trial in April. The judge says there's no conditions he could set that would assure the public of safety.


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