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St. Charles County man who was church leader charged with child pornography

St. Charles County police said they have reason to believe there may be more victims

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — A Lake St. Louis man has been charged with child pornography and St. Charles County police are looking for other potential victims.

Larry Deutsch, 54, met a teenage girl while he was serving as the bishop for a Mormon church in the St. Charles County area, according to court documents. Two years ago, the girl moved away to Arizona with her family but kept in contact with Deutsch.

Beginning in October of 2019, the girl began sending nude images of herself to Deutsch and he sent nude images of himself to her. The girl told authorities that Deutsch was her boyfriend and they planned to get married in May of 2021.

The girl’s parents became aware of the relationship between Deutsch and the girl and obtained an Order of Protection against Deutsch in November of 2019.

On Feb. 18, Deutsch flew to Arizona to meet up with the girl. According to court documents, Deutsch bought the girl an SUV and they drove back to St. Louis together. They arrived at a south St. Louis apartment the next day.

On Feb. 19, The St. Charles Police Department was contacted by authorities in Arizona to assist in locating the missing girl.

St. Charles County police interviewed Deutsch and he told officers where the girl was. The girl was taken into custody until her parents came to get her.

On Feb. 20, officials got a search warrant for Deutsch’s laptop that was seized the day before. Officials found 20 images of child pornography on his laptop.

Deutsch is facing one felony count of possession of child pornography and is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

St. Charles County police said they have reason to believe there may be other victims. Officials said Deutsch had unsupervised contact with children as a part of his leadership and service activities at various churches throughout St. Charles County and Troy, Missouri.

Anyone who has any information about this incident or may be a victim should call 636-949-3002.

Eric Hawkins, church spokesman, provided the following statement: 

"The allegations against this individual are serious and deeply troubling. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no tolerance for abuse of any kind, including child pornography, and teaches its members and leaders that such behavior is offensive to God and to His Church. This individual has not been a leader of a congregation since 2014, and did not meet the alleged victim through any position in the Church. Nevertheless, the alleged behavior is inexcusable and abhorrent. Those who engage in abusive behavior are rightfully subject to prosecution by legal authorities, and will also face disciplinary steps from the Church, including a loss of Church membership."

St. Charles County police are searching for potential v... ictims following the arrest of a Lake St. Louis man who engaged in an illegal and inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl reported missing from San Tan Valley, Arizona. Larry Deutsch, 54, is facing one felony count of Possession of Child Pornography.

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