Source: ktvu.com/telegram.com

A former volunteer associate pastor at a Granbury church and chaplain at a nursing home pleaded guilty Monday morning to secretly taking photos of people undressing at several locations and possessing child pornography. Hidden cameras were found at a nursing home, at his home and at his former church, all in Granbury, authorities said. Secret photos were taken during weddings, baptismal events and on a Colorado ski trip, authorities said. Matthew Porter, 34, of Granbury, entered his plea on eight counts of improper photography or visual recording and seven counts of possession of child pornography. Porter agreed to plead guilty on the day that jury selection was scheduled to start in his trial on the charges.

“We had at least 10 victims ready to testify,” said Hood County District Attorney Rob Christian. Porter chose to let Judge Ralph Walton decide his punishment and the judge will hear testimony on Tuesday in a Granbury courtroom. Porter faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on each count of the child pornography cases and two years each on the improper photographing charges. The Granbury man had been free on bail, but was taken into custody Monday morning after he entered his plea. Porter was arrested a year ago this month after a camera was found hidden in a bathroom of Harbor Lakes Plaza Nursing and Rehabilitation in Granbury.

He was identified as a suspect after he was seen in one of the photos trying to adjust the camera, Granbury police said. Authorities later found a hidden camera at his Granbury home he shared with his parents. Granbury police had estimated that investigators seized more than 4,000 photographs from Porter’s camera. Porter was a volunteer associate pastor at The Church at Granbury, and he served as a chaplain at Harbor Lakes Plaza Nursing and Rehabilitation in Granbury. He also volunteered at Gateway Community Church in Granbury. He is no longer associated with Granbury churches or nursing homes, his attorney has said. Porter had been living in the Granbury area since 2008 and Granbury police began their investigation in October 2010 after a nursing home employee found the hidden camera in a bathroom.

This is the second time in four years that Porter has had problems with improper photography. In Florida, Porter was a youth minister when he was accused of videotaping teenage Bible study students as they changed clothes at his home. He pleaded no contest to nine counts of misdemeanor voyeurism in 2008. Facing a maximum sentence of nine years in prison, after a number of people weighed in on Porter’s behalf, and he was sentenced to 120 days in the Manatee County Jail to be followed by one-year probation.

Florida criminal court records indicated that Porter got letters of support from family members and friends in Texas. One came from the Rev. C.C. Risenhoover of The Church at Granbury. In a letter dated Aug. 8, 2008, Risenhoover, then senior pastor at Gateway Community Church in Granbury, stated that Porter “will not only have our counsul and support, but also that of loving parents.” Porter’s father and grandfather were longtime residents of Hood County, according to the letters.

As a teenager, Porter was a member of Lakeside Baptist Church in Granbury and was hired as a sound technician for the Christian musical drama, The Promise. A letter from Louis M. Ratliff Jr. of The Hills, Texas, stated that Porter was a “strong-willed person who stayed by his parents’ side with words of encouragement” when his sister was killed in a traffic accident in the 1990s. He graduated from Howard Payne University in Brownwood in 2000, and was hired as youth leader at First Baptist Church in Lipan. He left the Lipan church in 2004 and moved to Bradenton, Fla.

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