October 17, 2014 12:03 pm
Updated: October 17, 2014 8:25 pm

‘I am not a predator’: Edmonton pastor charged with child pornography offences

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Watch above: An Edmonton pastor is facing child pornography charges. The charges have shocked some in his congregation, but as Fletcher Kent reports, Reverend Richard Docekal says it’s not what it seems.

EDMONTON — A 58-year-old church pastor, who has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, says the charges are not what they seem.

“I would never harm anybody. I have never harmed anybody,” Richard John Docekal told Global News Friday.

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Docekal, who is from Edmonton, was arrested and charged on Oct. 9 after a tip from the public sparked an investigation in early September.

Docekal was a senior pastor with All Saints Lutheran Church in Edmonton at the time of the alleged offences. But in a post dated October 6, 2014 on the Lutheran Church Canada website, Docekal resigned as pastor from the clergy roster.

Police say the charges relate to dozens of cartoon-like drawings of children, some depicting “horrific sexual assaults.”

Sgt. Mike Lokken, a member of the Internet Child Exploitation unit, said it’s not alleged the pastor made the drawings but did possess and distribute them.

“The charges stem around something that happened about two years ago … There’s no indication at this time that there were any contact offences.”

On Friday, Docekal spoke to Global News about the arrest, saying police seized drawing from him, which he described as fiction and art.

“I am not a predator,” he said. “I’m not a danger to anyone.”

Investigators say they have not yet found any photos or videos and they don’t believe Docekal created any child porn. However, they are not calling the drawings art.

“I would say it’s fair to say dozens of pictures,” said Lokken. “I can say that they’re not just children posing naked. It does depict sexual assaults of children.”

Lokken said officers have searched Docekal’s home and seized computer and mobile devices.

“We’re doing forensic analysis of those devices and that’s ongoing. We haven’t determined whether there will be any more charges.”

The Lutheran Church says it “has been cooperating fully with authorities…Because the matter is now before the courts, Lutheran Church–Canada is unable to make further comments at this time, other than to pray for God’s guidance and mercy in what is a difficult time for many.”

A biography posted on the ZoomInfo website says “Rich” Docekal was installed as the senior pastor at All Saints in July 2007, shortly after he became a joint U.S.-Canadian citizen. He graduated from theological school in Indiana in 1994 before serving in parishes in Oklahoma, Missouri and Ohio.

He moved to Edmonton in 2001 and filled church vacancies in the region, including one in Fort McMurray. He is also listed as working with the Good Samaritan Society.

The biography adds that Docekal, along with his wife and daughter, “live the idyllic Canadian dream in Edmonton.”

Docekal has been released and is to appear in court Oct. 31.

Anyone who may have more information about this case is asked to contact police, Crime Stoppers or Cypertip.ca.


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With files from The Canadian Press. 

© 2014 Shaw Media

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