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Former St. Charles County Mormon church leader sentenced to 12 years for child porn

Prosecutors said he met the victim while he was serving as a bishop of a Mormon church in the Lake St. Louis area
Credit: TEGNA

LAKE ST LOUIS, Mo. — A man who was once a leader at a Mormon church will spend years behind bars for crimes involving inappropriate behavior with a child.

Larry Deutsch, a 55-year-old from Lake St. Louis, pleaded guilty Thursday to coercion and enticement of a minor and receiving child pornography. A judge sentenced him to 12 years in federal prison; he’ll also be supervised for the rest of his life after his release from prison.

Deutsch was first charged in St. Charles County in February 2020. Prosecutors said he met the victim while he was serving as a bishop of a Mormon church in the Lake St. Louis area. According to the court records, he met the victim while serving in that role at the church.

Credit: St. Charles County PD

Investigators said the family moved out of state in 2019 but Deutsch continued to keep in contact with the teenaged girl “as a trusted adult in her life and that of her family,” the U.S. Attorney Eastern District of Missouri wrote in a news release Thursday.

In October 2019, prosecutors said Deutsch convinced the girl to take and send nude images of herself and he sent nude photos of himself to her. The girl’s family discovered the messages and photos and obtained an order of protection against Deutsch that November.

In February 2020, prosecutors said Deutsch flew across the country to pick up the girl and brought her back to St. Louis County, where he had rented an apartment for her. Police were able to find the girl and return her to her family.

On Feb. 20, 2020, officials got a search warrant for Deutsch’s laptop that was seized the day before. Investigators said they found 20 images of child pornography on the computer.

The St. Charles County Police Department, the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case.