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Normal man accused of having child porn worked at church

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BLOOMINGTON — The pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington said a man accused of sexual assault of a minor and child pornography possession “is no longer employed” with the church.

Michael D. Schneider, 33, of Normal, was charged last week with 131 counts of child pornography possession and six counts of criminal sexual assault of a minor victim between 13 and 17 years old. He also is charged with enticing a child to remove their clothes, and distributing explicit material to a minor.

Pastor David Glesne confirmed Schneider’s departure from the church in an email.

Schneider was director of worship arts since 2018 and was the church’s choir director in 2016, according to St. John’s Lutheran Church annual reports. In 2017, he was a staff member of the worship arts ministry team, which organizes and performs productions and other presentations.

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Schneider also served on the building committee and facility planning team.

Schneider also has spent time teaching piano lessons. Several neighborhood social networking services list Schneider Music Studio at the same Normal address listed as his address in court records.

Schneider’s pornography possession charges represent 131 videos or photos and are each class 2 or class 3 felony offenses. The six criminal sexual assault of a minor victim charges are class 1 felonies, while the charges for enticing a child to remove clothes and distribution of explicit material to a minor are class A misdemeanors.

Normal Police said in a statement last week that an investigation began in March after he was accused of inappropriate relations with a juvenile victim in Normal.

A public defense attorney said at a bond hearing that Schneider turned himself into police. He remains jailed in lieu of posting $20,035 and his arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 6.


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