A Shawnee man who reportedly served as a pastor at a local church before his arrest earlier this month has been formally charged in federal court with production of child pornography.
Jerry D. Barham, 66, was charged Thursday in U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma.
Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned indictments against Melissa R. Loman, 33, Shawnee, who also was arrested as part of the pornography investigation.
Barham is accused, between April 19, 2011 and Jan. 7, 2013, of using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions. He is accused of giving financial benefits to Loman in exchange for her producing visual depictions of minors engaging in explicit conduct and then transmitting those from her cell phone to his cell phone, the documents show.
Barham, who remains jailed in federal custody, could face no less than 15 years and no more than 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, upon conviction of the federal offense.
While Barham's charge was filed by federal prosecutors Thursday, Loman's 19 indictments for production of child pornography and aiding and abetting were handed down by a federal grand jury on Wednesday. She is now scheduled for arraignment in federal court on Monday.
Loman's indictment shows she is accused of using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for producing pictures or videos and then transmitting those through text messages to Barham's cell phone for financial benefit. Court documents allege the incidents for which Loman was indicted occurred between April 19, 2011 and Feb. 1, 2013.
Loman also could face no less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in prison, and be ordered to pay a $250,000 fine, or both, for the pornography counts. Loman also remains jailed in a federal facility and is scheduled for a federal court appearance
Barham and Loman were both arrested in Shawnee earlier this month by the FBI as part of an investigation. A couple days after the arrest, an official website for Grace Fellowship New Testament Church in Shawnee, 1108 N. Kickapoo, listed Barham as one of its pastors, but the site was taken offline.
Following the arrest, a written statement issued by a spokesperson on behalf of the church indicated that Barham "mainly assisted the worship leader with music," and with occasional preaching following his retirement from a local bank.
"What happened in this regrettable incident was outside the church," the statement reads. "We have great respect for the family in this difficult matter," the statement continued, with nothing further to add.
Watch for updates.