FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – A former campus life director for Youth for Christ is accused of receiving and possessing pictures or videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Nathan Hasty, 34, of Huntington, was in US District Court Monday afternoon for his initial hearing. Hasty is a former employee of nine years for Youth for Christ, whose mission, according to its website, is to reach young people through local churches and other civic ventures to raise lifelong followers of Jesus Christ and to create a lifelong devotion to God by committing to the love of Christ.
According to court documents, Facebook, in early 2012, notified law enforcement that Hasty was using three fake identities to have sexually explicit conversations with minors. In two of the Facebook accounts, according to court documents, Hasty posed as a 16-year-old girl and messaged dozens of boys between the ages of 12 and 14. Court documents describe Hasty’s fake identity as a girl who flirted with boys in an effort to gain their trust. From there, he would ask sexually explicit questions of the boys including the length of the genitals, if they like to go skinny dipping and the color and kind of underwear they were wearing.
From there, according to the documents, Hasty would then ask for shirtless images as well as images of boys in their underwear or naked. Documents also allege that Hasty used Skype or web cameras to have live sexually explicit conversations or viewings of boys that were naked. He claimed that he did not have one and therefore would engage in a one-sided video session.
In his third Facebook account, according to court documents, hasty posed as a 19-year-old boy. Under this account, Hasty interacted with both boys and girls and exhibited similar activity and requests.
Facebook was able to determine that all three accounts were linked to Hasty because of the shared IP addresses and browser cookies. Cookes are small data stored in one’s web browser.
Hasty also gave out his personal phone number under one of the female accounts.
On September 21, law enforcement went to Hasty’s home to interview him about the allegations. In their interview, according to court documents, Hasty admitted to using the fake accounts and said he used them to communicate with boys and girls in his youth group. In their conversation, Hasty told police that in his conversations with the boys and girls that he may have said things “he shouldn’t have said” and that conversations may have become “sexual.”
According to the documents, Hasty told police he asked more than 10 boys to send nude pictures of themselves and said he Skyped one-way and asked the boys to send nude pictures though video means as well. He said he discussed meeting with them but never followed through.
According to documents, Hasty gave police consent to search his computers and two email accounts. Found, according to documents, were sexual images of boys and videos of boys masturbating.
Upon hearing that Hasty was being investigated, Youth for Christ suspended Hasty on September 21. After a board meeting, Hasty was informed that he would be terminated from his position on September 24. Youth for Christ Executive Director Larry Lance says his organization performed the necessary background checks on Hasty, and the organization is shocked by Monday’s news.
“We do everything that is asked from the background checks to training programs to supervision to accountability. All of that is intact. We are, like I said, are shocked.”
Lance, per the investigation involving federal law enforcement, could not provide details about whether any children in their program were victims. He also could not comment on any conversations he has had with concerned parents. He says Youth for Christ has been a positive influence in the community for more than 60 years and is eager to get back to guiding young people.
“We want to get this behind us and get back to doing what we've done for over 60 years in this community, and we want to turn that corner as fast as we can.”
Hasty will be back in court Wednesday for his detention and probable cause hearings.
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