WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The man accused of recording a girl while she was changing her clothes at the Kingdom Bound Festival was a youth pastor, officials with a West Seneca church said.
Nathan Rogers, 35, was fired by Life Church Buffalo after officials there learned he had been charged with unlawful surveillance and endangering the welfare of a child. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say the incident happened Wednesday evening during the festival, which took place at Darien Lake. Investigators accused Rogers of using two cell phones to create the recording while the girl was changing in his camper.
“Life Church Buffalo is shocked and deeply saddened over the improper incident that occurred at Darien Lake on Wednesday involving a member of our staff,” church officials said in a statement released to News 4 on Friday. “Gratefully, local law enforcement was notified and responded quickly.”
Rogers served as a part-time student pastor at the church, which is located on Seneca Street. Now, officials say they are offering help to the students there.
“We are earnestly praying for the healing of everyone involved in this incident, particularly the victim and her family,” they added. “We have offered and will continue to offer professional counseling and ministry support for all of our students as we endeavor to serve our community with love and compassion.”
The Kingdom Bound Festival is a four-day Christian music festival. Wednesday was the last day of the festival.
“Kingdom Bound Ministries maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any form of inappropriate behavior at our events,” festival officials said in a statement. “We will continue to cooperate with the park and law enforcement in every way and will continue to work alongside the park and local authorities to ensure the safety of all festival guests.”
Rebecca Stevens, the director of the Buffalo-based Child Advocacy Center, said arrests like these should prompt discussion in the community.
“I don’t think talking about it will prevent it from happening,” Stevens said. “But I think it will raise the community’s awareness to how often it actually does happen and how we as a community need to get behind preventing it from happening in the first place.
“I think it’s a step toward prevention.”
Rogers was released and is expected to be arraigned in Darien Town Court on August 13th.