Cary youth pastor appears before judge on child porn charges

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Cary youth pastor appeared in a court Tuesday for the first time since being charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

David Kimbell, a youth minister at Cornerstone Presbyterian in Cary, is free on bond but due back in court May 21.

CBS 17 reached out to that church multiple times but they’ve declined comment and have since removed Kimbell from their website.

“You’re not allowed to have contact with any person under the age of 16 except your own biological children,” said Wake County Judge Ned Mangum told Kimbell on Tuesday. 

Kimbell faces charges of felony third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. 

Cary police say the case is clear cut based on the information they’ve been able to gather from Kimbell’s computer.

“Microsoft alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that they had discovered an image on a peer-to-peer file sharing network,” said Capt. John Szymeczek.

According to arrest warrants, Kimball had multiple images of children between the ages of 4 and 11 posed in a sexually explicit manner and performing sexually explicit acts.

Rob Downs of Managed IT Solutions has made a career out of protecting his clients’ information on the internet, and he can’t recall another case quite like this.

“People have a certain expectation of privacy depending on what they’re doing,” said Downs. “That’s certainly where the legal part of this case will come into.”

Downs says the devil is in the details, or in this case the user agreement.

“Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of people don’t read the end user license agreement,” said Downs.

That agreement details what information companies can freely harvest from your computer, but the question remains as to what they can do with that information once they have it.

“The wild west is a good analogy,” said Downs. “There are all types of things going on there, and there’s no regulation.”

As artificial intelligence technology continues to grow, the question remains if big brother, or in this case Microsoft, is doing the work of law enforcement without a warrant.

“Unfortunately they’re going to get bad publicity out of this and good publicity,” said Downs. “They did something that is right morally speaking. Legally speaking it may not be the best move.”

Downs told CBS 17 that early in his career, he discovered explicit pictures on a client’s computer.

Just like Microsoft, Downs says he made the ethical decision to turn those images over to the authorities and let the legal system sort it out.

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