A Twin Cities pastor has been arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography after authorities raided his home and office Wednesday, police said.
The 47-year-old Pine City man, who works as an associate pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, was jailed Wednesday on felony probable cause child pornography charges. The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects who have yet to be charged.
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents, along with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, searched the man's church after obtaining a warrant. He was arrested without incident later at his home, about 80 miles north of the church.
A statement on the church's website acknowledged the pastor's arrest and said he was placed on administrative leave Wednesday. "We are concerned and ask prayers for all affected and will cooperate fully with law enforcement," the message reads. "We are committed to providing safe spaces for all children and youth at All Saints and in the community."
Earlier Thursday, a woman who answered the phone at the church said its leaders had no comment. The pastor's photo was removed from the website late Thursday.
He does not appear to have a criminal record in Minnesota beyond minor traffic infractions.