Pastor Gets Jail Time for Videotaping Girls

By Frank Gluck
Herald Tribune
August 21, 2008

BRADENTON — A former youth minister was sentenced this afternoon to 120 days in the Manatee County jail and two years of probation for secretly videotaping girls as they undressed in his homes in Bradenton and Ellenton over a two-year period.

Matthew Porter, 31, was found guilty of nine counts of voyeurism, a misdemeanor. He had admitted to hiding video cameras in his bathroom and bedroom and taping girls between the ages of 12 and 16 changing clothes. Porter was a pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Bradenton.

Porter, who had sought to avoid jail time, apologized to family members of the victims who attended sentencing in the Manatee County courtroom.

Parents of the victims said their daughters had lost trust in adult men since the video cameras were discovered.

"It has hurt her very bad," said the mother of one girl. "I saw that she posted on her MySpace page she would never trust a pastor again."

Manatee County Judge George K. Brown Jr. said he believes Porter is remorseful, but deserved time behind bars for his "very disturbing" actions.

"These folks here are going to be affected by this for the rest of their lives," Brown told Porter, who has been living with his family in Texas.

As part of his sentence, Porter must receive psychological counseling, must have no unsolicited contact with the victims or church members and may not possess video recording equipment.



Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.