Nova Scotia

Youth pastor resigns after child pornography charges

A 30-year-old Nova Scotia youth pastor at Timberlea Baptist Church has been charged with possessing and accessing child pornography after Halifax police raided two locations on Friday morning.

Aaron Kenneth Hudgins of Timberlea arrested on Friday

Aaron Kenneth Hudgins worked at the Timberlea Baptist Church. (Google Streetview)

A 30-year-old Nova Scotia youth pastor at Timberlea Baptist Church has resigned after being charged with possessing and accessing child pornography.

Aaron Kenneth Hudgins of Timberlea was arrested and charged with one count each of possessing child pornography and accessing child pornography after Halifax police raided two locations on Friday morning.

The church announced his resignation Friday afternoon on their website. 

Aaron Kenneth Hudgins worked at the church for seven years. (From Facebook)

"This morning we were made aware of the charges against Aaron Hudgins. We are deeply shocked and saddened by this news, and its impact on this community," the church wrote. 

"Immediate action was taken, and Aaron has resigned from his position at Timberlea Baptist Church.  Please be in prayer for the church, and his family."'

None of the allegations against Hudgins have been tested in court. 

Police started their investigation into allegations a man was in possession of child pornography in July.

On Friday police searched a residence on Sprucevale Drive in Timberlea and the National Research Council offices on Oxford Street in Halifax. They seized computer equipment during both searches.

I feel sick about it.- Peter Reid of the Atlantic Baptist Convention

Charles Drouin, spokesman for the National Research Council on Oxford Street, confirmed the office was searched, equipment was seized and an employee has been suspended without pay.  

Hudgins was released from custody, but he can't communicate with children under the age of 18, possess a device able to connect to the internet and he must not be within 25 metres of a place frequented by children.

He's set to appear in Halifax Provincial Court on Dec.10.

'Tragic' news

Peter Reid, executive director of the Atlantic Baptist Convention, called the news "tragic." 

"I feel sick about it," he said. "We have strict protocols around pastoral conduct. We don't sweep things like this under the rug."