November 02, 2005

Pastor pleads not guilty to sex charge

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: Nov. 1, 2005
West Bend - A local youth pastor on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges that he attempted to solicit sex on the Internet from someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy but was instead an undercover police officer in New Hampshire.

Russell F. Roelke, 45, also posted $50,000 bond on Monday and was released from the Washington County Jail, nearly a month after he was charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement, exposing a child to harmful material and possession of child pornography, all of which are felonies.

If convicted on all counts, Roelke could be imprisoned up to 57 years.

Until his arrest, Roelke was employed as director of youth and children's ministries by Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church in West Bend for 2 1/2 years, the church's pastor, the Rev. Jon Claude Bartlett, said.

Posted by kshaw at November 2, 2005 06:19 PM