Marion, Ill. pastor temporarily on leave, accused of blackmailing teen for nude photos

Marion, Ill. pastor accused of blackmailing teen for nude photos

MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - A pastor of Marion First United Methodist Church was temporarily relieved of duties.

Reverend John S. Hackmann, Jr., 45, was charged with child pornography and intimidation.

The Williamson County sheriff said on Monday he had bonded out of the Williamson County Jail.

According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Hackmann’s preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 19.

Court documents state Hackmann solicited a teen to get lewd photos of female friends that are her age. He’s accused of threatening to show the teen’s mother a private video of her and boyfriend.

Conference leadership said they were notified of Hackmann’s arrest by Williamson County authorities.

The following was posted in the public Facebook group “Illinois Great Rivers Conference - The United Methodist Church.”

“Conference leadership has been notified of the arrest Thursday by Williamson County authorities of the Rev. John S. Hackmann II, 45, pastor of Marion First UMC. In the best interest of all concerned, Rev. Hackmann has been temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties while an inquiry is made into the circumstances which led to the arrest. An interim pastor will be assigned to serve Marion First during this time. It is our intention to cooperate with the criminal investigation as it unfolds. The judgment of guilt or innocence regarding the criminal charges will come through that process. Our responsibility is to care for the welfare of the people involved and of the Church. Please join us in prayer for Rev. Hackmann, his family, all parties involved and this congregation as we move forward guided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Frank J. Beard, Resident Bishop of the Illinois Area, The United Methodist Church in a Facebook post

They said an interim pastor will be assigned to the church.

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