Pastor Timothy Lee Reddin did not practice what he preached, police claim.
The Arkansas church leader was arrested this week for allegedly trying to meet with an underage boy to have sex, part of a police sting operation. As the LGBT news site Queerty noted, Reddin was known for his anti-gay sermons as a congregation leader, leading to some nationwide attention for his arrest for trying to pursue a young teenage boy for a sexual encounter.
The 67-year-old man is accused of talking online with who he believed was a 14-year-old boy but was really an undercover agent working with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations team. Police charge that Reddin tried to arrange a meeting with the boy to perform sex acts, and even gave the fictional boy tips on how to have sex for the first time. Reddin allegedly told the boy he could help teach him, and sent pictures of male genitalia.
Reddin had been in trouble with the law before, including a 2000 conviction for possession of child pornography that landed him in prison for 27 months. After being released, he had to register as a sex offender.
Following the latest arrest, a number of local residents took aim at his church, leaving messages on the Facebook page asking how they could have knowingly hired a sex offender, especially in a position where he would be around children and families. Others shared the story online, noting the irony of Reddin's preaching against homosexuality.Reddin was also listed as faculty for Ecclesia College, and a spokesperson for the school said they did not know that the pastor was a sex offender until his arrest this week.
"The safety of our students is our highest priority, and we are grateful to the officers who are tackling this type of threat to our young people in the Northwest Arkansas community," the school said in a statement to 40/29 News. "It is our normal practice to run background checks on all potential employees and volunteers that work for the College. However, we did not discover Mr. Reddin's record until the media contacted us on Monday night regarding his recent arrest. We are taking appropriate action to determine the facts. In the meantime, he is not scheduled to teach going forward."
Queerty noted that Timothy Lee Reddin has been married for 50 years, with four grown children and seven grandchildren. He remained in jail on a charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.