Former Denison youth minister sentenced to 60 years for producing child pornography

KRLD [Dallas, TX]

February 21, 2023

A former youth minister from Anna has been locked up for the rest of his life after being convicted for producing child pornography at multiple locations, including at a church.

Federal investigators got onto the trail of 49-year old Chad Michael Rider of Anna while they were investigating a Denison man for child pornography offenses.

The Homeland Security agents were able to trace illicit videos back to the Denison Church of the Nazarene, where Rider was a youth minister.

There on a hard drive in the church, they found videos of Rider and the other man, identified as David Pettigrew, setting up cameras to film children who were bathing at the church. More videos were found of Rider recording children at two other residences.

“One of the sacred safe havens for children is the church and all it stands for.  Yet Rider and his conspirators purposefully used it as a lure to bring children in and then, despicably, exploited those children for their own perverted gratification,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.

A jury convicted Rider on three counts of the sexual exploitation of children in July 2022 and federal Judge Amos Mazzant came down hard, sentencing Rider to 60-years in federal prison where there is no longer any chance for parole.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.