A man who serves as a children’s pastor at a Raleigh church is in jail after he was arrested on multiple child pornography charges.
Police say Daniel Belton, 27, knowingly received a dozen videos or files of child porn.
Coworkers at First Korean Baptist Church were shocked and devastated to learn of the charges.
Pastor Jacob Park recognized Belton in his mug shot, but said it is hard to reconcile with the man he says he knows.
“You just hope and pray that there’s been a mistake,” Park said.
Raleigh police accuse Belton of knowingly receiving a dozen videos or files containing child pornography. He faces multiple charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.
“That is an accusation first and foremost until judgment is fully reached, we don’t know for sure,” noted Park.
For the past three years, he says Belton has worked as the children’s pastor at First Korean Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Park described him as, “Talented, very gifted at speaking, very gifted at music, at organization everything you want for a children’s ministry.”
Park said he knows Belton’s family and his sister previously worked at the church.
He says Belton was careful around the children.
“He wouldn’t ever delegate himself to be in places alone with the kids. We would have open-door policies,” he explained. “We haven’t had any, not a single complaint in three years, and working with him closely the other staff and teachers and I haven’t seen anything.”
Park says about 70 or 80 children attend the church. Park said he has no concerns about their safety.
Although he has a hard time believing Belton could commit such a crime, Park says if he is responsible, he hopes he will get help and be able to change.
Belton’s bond is set at $650,000.