Pastor pleads guilty to viewing child pornography on public computer

(WMC-TV) - "We've always known our father to live a Godly life and he has been a great teacher and example to us," said Edward Prince's daughter, Rachel Witt.

Witt had that to say about her father last year when the Desoto County pastor was accused of child exploitation.

Investigators say Prince the pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church in DeSoto County used a computer at the public library in Hernando to view and download child pornography.

He pleaded guilty last month.

Prince's attorney told Action News 5 that the Pastor decided not to go to trial but to make a plea deal.

"The state would have been able to prove in the trial Reverend Prince had viewed some images at the Hernando Public library that are illegal," Prince's attorney, Stan Little said.

Little also said Prince was facing a lot of time but in the deal he agreed to do two years behind bars.

Reverend Prince has not been at his church for months according to his attorney. He has been a pastor for 40 years.

Prince's attorney says the crime is out of character for the reverend.

"When you have that type of addiction, sense of sanity sense of reason tend to go away," said District Attorney, John Champion.  "I want to emphasize he didn't pay for the images. He didn't take those images. He didn't touch them. He merely viewed them on the computer."

Investigators say the computers at the library have software to keep people from viewing inappropriate material.

Police believe Prince managed to get around the filters to see the child porn.

Reverend Prince is scheduled to be sentenced in October. That is when the judge likely will accept the plea deal.

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