Former Pastor and Oxford Theology Professor Sentenced to Prison in France for Child Porn Possession

A former pastor and Oxford University professor of theology has been sentenced to a year in prison for possessing thousands of images and videos of child porn.

Jan Joosten, who is considered to be one of the most regarded biblical scholars of his generation, was sentenced on June 15 in Saverne, France, and placed on the country’s sex offender registry. The 61-year-old Belgian academic had downloaded approximately 28,000 images and videos of child abuse, which reportedly included depictions of child rape.

Thousands of images and videos were downloaded over the course of six years and were discovered following a lengthy investigation by cybercrime authorities in Strasbourg, France. Joosten expressed relief that he was arrested and described his behavior as “a secret garden, in contradiction with myself.”

The French court also sentenced him to a three-year treatment program and prohibited him from participating in any activities in which he would interact with minors. Reports indicate that Joosten was not immediately remanded to prison and an independent judge might yet amend his sentence.

Joosten has yet to decide whether he will appeal the decision. His attorneys argued that he should not be imprisoned because he is a first time offender, presents little risk of reoffending, and had voluntarily sought psychiatric help, The Guardian reported.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter