A Young Adult Pastor with Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City has been arrested in Shawnee after being accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to four teenage boys from his former church.
Brian K. Burchfield, 42, served as a pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee from June 2006 until April 2014, when he left to take a position with Quail Springs Baptist Church. However, at least one parent says that when Burchfield left the congregation in Shawnee, he did not sever all ties with its youth. Instead, the parent notified police after discovering inappropriate text messages Burchfield allegedly sent to her teenage son.
Investigators say the former youth pastor sent text messages to four teenage boys, aged 14 to 17, who were members of the Immanuel Baptist Church when Burchfield was a pastor there.These messages allegedly discussed the boys' genitals and pornography and asked the teens to send him pictures.
Police questioned the boys, who allegedly said that the text messages, which began in July 2014, were becoming increasingly sexual in nature and were starting to make them uncomfortable. One teen told investigators that Burchfield had bet him $20 that he wouldn't streak naked across his yard or jump naked into the pool--both of which the boy says he did to win the bet. Others say that they attended a "Man Journey Retreat" with the former pastor, who twice came up with the idea that they should all go skinny-dipping.
When police questioned the minister, he allegedly admitted that his actions "crossed the line," but disputed that he was sexually attracted to the teens. Instead, he allegedly told investigators that when he was around juveniles, he got into "the mindset of a juvenile kid" and did "stupid stuff."
Shawnee police arrested Burchfield and booked him into the Pottawatomie County Jail on complaints of soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor by use of technology and violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.
After his arrest, Quail Springs Baptist Church terminated his employment.
The former pastor has not yet been formally charged, but if evidence is sufficient to support the allegations above, he could face additional charges to those on which he was jailed.
Soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor by use of technology (21 O.S. § 1040.13a) is a felony sex crime punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and 25 years of registration as an Oklahoma Sex Offender.
In 21 O.S. § 1958, the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act makes it a separate and additional felony to use a computer or computer network to violate any Oklahoma law. To do so is punishable by up to 5 years in prison in addition to any sentence for the underlying criminal act.
To learn more about Oklahoma sex crimes and their penalties, click here, or call 405-778-4800 to schedule a free consultation with a sex crime defense attorney.