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Former Westlake pastor sentenced in federal child porn case

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Posted at 12:33 PM, Feb 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-23 14:51:20-05

A former Westlake pastor has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges.

John Michael Ward, 46, was arrested last summer by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and accused of molesting a child for two years. At the time of his arrest, the child was 11 years old. Deputies said he videoed her while she was naked on two different occasions. He was booked on state charges of 10 counts first degree rape and 40 counts indecent behavior with a juvenile; he still faces those charges in state court.

In federal court, he was indicted on four counts of sexual exploitation of children via production of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to two of those four charges. In addition to the 60 years in prison, he was ordered to make restitution to the victim, register as a sex offender upon his release, and undergo a sex-offender treatment program that will include drug testing andlie-detector tests. He also cannot be around children without their parents present.

Ward has been in jail since August 2019, records show. Until his arrest, he was the pastor of Bellview Baptist Church in Westlake.

CPSO Detective Jacob Dore is the lead investigator on the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker was the federal prosecutor, records show.