Crime handcuffs RTSA

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Washington County District Judge Siv Mjanger in Minnesota sentenced Jason James Taylor, formerly a pastor at Calvary Chapel Solid Rock in New Richmond, to serve 45 days in Washington County Jail for his conviction on a single felony count of prostitution involving a teen 16 to 17 years old.

Taylor, 47, was one of six people arrested in a human trafficking and prostitution sting operation in Stillwater  on July 27.

Undercover agents posing as minors or sex buyers on social media arranged to meet with adults in-person where they were arrested.

According to the original complaint the former pastor was accused of visiting an established commercial sex website where he selected a girl who appeared to be under 18 based on a “decoy” photo.

Although Calvary Chapel Solid Rock operates as an independent entity, it belong to Calvary Chapel Association which helped with the creation of bylaws which guided church leadership in what to do and how to proceed in a disciplinary case like Taylors’. 

According to a statement issued by Calvary Chapel Solid Rock Associate Pastor Brian Sullivan, Taylor was relieved of all church related responsibilities at the time of his arrest.

“We are very grateful there was no actual ‘victim’ involved since this was a police operation and the only people he communicated with were members of the police,” Sullivan said. Our focus is on supporting his wife and their children as this situation moves forward as well as our congregation and neighbors.”

Taylor has been released from the pastoral staff and all responsibilities and roles within Calvary Chapel Solid Rock, according to Sullivan.

Sullivan made it clear it is not the church’s role is not to adjudicate but rather to help the fallen get back up and to fully support the family in whatever ways are needed. 

Taylor was hired to preach at Calvary Chapel Solid Rock in New Richmond in August 2017. He is married with four children.

Prior to sentencing, the court considered five letters in support of Taylor’s character and an additional three letters documenting Taylor’s participation in various counseling programs since his arrest. 

The 45 days can be accounted for on work release, weekends or as part of a supervised Sentence to Serve program which is to be determined by Taylor’s probation officer.

Taylor will be placed on supervised probation for three  years and is required to enroll in and successfully complete a sex offender treatment program. Upon successful completion of probation, the offense would be reduced to a misdemeanor conviction.

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