Former Pastor/Coach Guilty Plea to Child Exploitation

Memphis, Tennessee- May 18,2022: Joshua Henley, 33, of Benton County, Tennessee, and Evansville, Indiana, pleaded guilty to an eight-count indictment in federal district court on Monday. Henley admitted that he produced child sexual abuse material involving three minors, transported a minor interstate with the intent to engage in sexual activity with the minor,

sent obscene videos and images to a minor, and possessed and transported child sexual abuse material. The conviction was announced today by United States Attorney Joseph C. Murphy, Jr.

Beginning in 2018, Henley was the pastor at Holladay Church of Christ in Benton County, according to court documents. He also coached the girls' basketball team at Holladay Elementary School. Henley started working at a church in Evansville, Indiana, in April 2021. In June 2021, Henley returned to Tennessee to pick up a woman known only as "Minor C" and transport her to Indiana to assist him at his Vacation Bible School. Henley had sex with her while in Indiana. Minor C had recently turned fifteen years old. Minor C later revealed that Henley had been having sexual relations with her since she was thirteen, and he requested that she take sexually graphic photos and email them to him over a chat application.

While Henley was in Indiana with Minor C, another woman, "Minor B," told a trusted adult that Henley had requested her to develop and send sexually explicit photographs in 2020 as well. Minor B was fifteen years old.

On June 18, 2021, Henley was arrested while driving Minor C back to Benton County. Investigators discovered a cell phone in his possession and secured a warrant to search it, where they discovered sexually explicit photographs of Minor C and Minor B, as well as video of Henley engaging in sexual activity with another female—Minor A. The image was created on November 6, 2020, just a few months after Minor A turned fourteen, according to metadata.

Henley has worked with young people in Indiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, among other places.

Sentencing is set for August 23, 2022, before Chief United States District Judge S. Thomas Anderson in Jackson, Tennessee. Henley will be incarcerated for at least fifteen years and may be sentenced to a term of up to life in prison.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Task Force in partnership with the Benton County Sheriff’s Department, the Evansville Police Department, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Technical Services Unit.

Assistant United States Attorney Debra Ireland is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

Wnctimes by Marjorie Farrington

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