Youth Pastor Videotape Case May Be Void
August 9, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
PASADENA, Texas, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Charges against a former youth pastor accused of videotaping teenage girls while showering at a Pasadena, Texas, church may not be valid, officials say.
Thomas Jason Fortenberry, 30, was charged Thursday with two counts of improper photography for an incident that allegedly took place Nov. 4, 2007, the Houston Chronicle reported.
However, the Texas statute of limitations says state felonies must be cited within three years of the crime, a time limit that ended in November.
Prosecutors say they are “evaluating the evidence” in the case.
“These are serious accusations,” Roger Bridgwater, the assistant Harris County district attorney, said. “It is incumbent upon us to make sure that we have the necessary evidence and that the charges we file are appropriate.”
Fortenberry is accused of videotaping two 15-year-olds and two 17-year-olds undress and wash honey off themselves after a church game similar to the television show “Fear Factor.” He recently admitted to the older girls that he hid a camera in the shower at the church in Pasadena where the event took place.
When questioned by investigators, Fortenberry only said “he had done things he should not have done,” court records show.
If the case is not dismissed, Fortenberry will face as much as two years in jail.