Crime Watch 8

Former youth pastor charged with child exploitation, possessing child porn

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A former youth pastor faces a number of charges including sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 51-year-old Maurice Frazier is alleged to have engaged in sexual activity between 15 and 20 times with a 14-year-old victim in a number of different locations such as his residence, his vehicle and in a church office.

Frazier is alleged to have come into contact with the victim as a part of his work as a youth minister. He then began communicating with her via social media and started texting the 14-year-old to encourage her to send him sexually explicit images of herself. Frazier is also thought to have sent the teen sexually explicit photos of himself.

Parents who live in the neighborhood are shocked and left wondering how something like this could happen.

“You should be able to trust your churches and your community locations to be able … be able for kids to go there with open arms…. It is just sickening. It’s sickening. He needs to be locked away,” said one mother who lives in the area.

The pastor at Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church told 24-Hour News 8 that Frazier was employed by the church, 3505 E. 38th St. It is still unclear what year or years Frazier worked at the church and what year the alleged crime happened. The Rev. James Williamson with Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church declined an interview.

Frazier, who is already on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry for a previous conviction, faces six counts of receipt of child pornography, possession of child porn, sexual exploitation of a child coercion, enticement and an offense by a registered sex offender.

Frazier was also a lieutenant with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in the jail division in the past. In 2011, he was arrested after female coworkers accused him of sexual battery. He was found guilty of several charges in that case and sentenced in 2012.

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Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at info@southbendart.org, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.

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