Thursday, December 17, 2015
Former church music director, father of four arrested on child porn charge
The first court appearance for Monte D. Gann, 53, Bolivar, was held today. Following the three-minute session, a public defender was hired for Gann, who was the music director of the Grace Fellowship Baptist Church in Bolivar, according to the church's website.
(Update: Gann left his position as music director at Grace Fellowship Baptist Church, something which was not reflected on the website.)
The Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force centered its investigation on Gann after officials at the blogging platform Tumbler offered cybertips informing the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that they had detected 13 image files and one video file posted on September 9 and September 10 containing possible child pornography.
According to the probable cause affidavit "several of the image files depicted the same young male, around 14 years of age" touching himself, as if masturbating. Other pictures of young males showed them in similar actions.
The video showed a young boy, about 13 or 14, masturbating while watching a pornographic video.
The probable cause affidavit said the video was uploaded from an IP address traced to Gann's home.
A federal search warrant was executed at Gann's home Wednesday.
TFO Martin and Lt. Barron contacted Monte Gann (Gann) at his place of employment. TFO Martin advised Gann that there was search warrant for his residence and law enforcement needed Gann to allow officers entry to the residence to avoid any property damage.
Gann asked TFO Martin what the warrant was for, and TFO Martin told Gann it involved child exploitation. Gann immediately responded that he was the one law enforcement was looking for, and he had expected that law enforcement would show up “one of these days.”
Gann stated he had been looking at child pornography for several years and then showed TFO Martin child pornography on Gann’s cellular phone. TFO Martin seized the phone from Gann.
Gann led the officers to his residence. Gann agreed to speak with TFO Martin and TFO Charles Root in TFO Root’s vehicle, while other officers searched the residence.
After being advised of his Miranda rights, Gann admitted that he had been looking at child pornography for several years. Gann stated that he was sexually attracted to males, and he had begun acting on that attraction at a very young age.
Gann acknowledged that he had created the Tumblr account, reported in the Cybertips. Gann confessed that he had posted several child pornography images to that account. Gann advised he had more child pornography images on his phone. Gann reported that he used the Internet to search for and view child pornography. Gann admitted that he had viewed images depicting infants to teens engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Gann also admitted to using the website Omegle to contact younger males in order to exchange pictures. Gann stated he also engaged in video chats on Omegle with minors during which he and the minors would engage in masturbatory acts.
Gann reported engaging in such video chats on Omegle as recently as yesterday during his lunch break in his home. Gann also admitted to using several different applications such as Kik, Skype, and Grinder to search for, and make contact with young males, between the ages of nine and fifteen. Gann admitted to meeting at least two sixteen year olds, and a seventeen year old, to engage in oral sex in the Bolivar area.