FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Forsyth County former minister is facing new charges in connection with a child pornography investigation, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
T Elliott Welch, 34, of Tobaccoville, was initially charged with second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in April.
On Thursday, the FCSO said Welch has now additionally been charged with 10 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
The original investigation began several months ago when investigators got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that someone was uploading child pornography to the internet.
Investigators searched Welch’s home and he was arrested and charged.
The children involved were approximately 10-12 years old, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office said Welch is accused of “duplicating material containing a visual representation of a minor.”
The investigation continued after the original charge was brought and an additional tip was received that the same person was uploading and distributing child pornography.
Welch was the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Stanleyville. A statement on the church’s website says he has since resigned.
Welch was given a $250,000 secured bond for the new charges and is scheduled to appear in court on July 1.
Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to call the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at (336) 727-2112.