Orlando resident Jerry Nickelson confessed to FBI agents that he had sexual relations with at least seven underage boys over the past 20 years.  Mr. Nickelson apparently made these revelations while under investigation for multiple counts of possession of child pornography.  Mr. Nickelson had been a pastor in a death ministry at First Baptist Church of Central Florida, but the Orlando Sentinel reported that the church insisted that Mr. Nickelson did not work with children at the church.

Interestingly, Mr. Nickelson told investigators that he had been “diagnosed” with pedophilia back in 1993 and had received counseling twice, but that he was still attracted to underage boys.

As we have previously discussed, this story seems to repeat itself over and over.  In our experience representing children who are the victims of sexual abuse, the people who perform these acts generally do not do it on a “one time only” basis.  In our experience, these sexual predators keep seducing and abusing children until they are caught and put in jail.

Similarly, we see a lot of these offenders working around churches, daycares, schools, and youth programs.  Just because the church in this story said Mr. Nickelson’s ministry didn’t involve children, it would very unusual in our experience if he had not had regular contact with children during his activities at the church.  It would be interesting to know what steps the church took to find out about Nickelson’s background and prior “diagnosis” back in 1993.

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