Nashua, NH Pastor facing child pornography charge

NASHUA, N.H. — A pastor in Nashua, NH has been arrested and charged in connection with an extensive child pornography investigation.

Police in Nashua Tuesday arrested 46-year-old Pastor Stephen Bates at the Bible Baptist Church.

Investigators say that church has been connected to several investigations beginning in 2016, when they were contacted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with a cybertip indicated child pornography had been accessed by an IP address at the church.

Similar cybertips were received in 2017.

Investigators also connected an IP address at the church during a Homeland Security Investigation in 2019 in Denver, a child pornography investigation in Tallahassee, Florida in 2020, and a Homeland Security Investigation in Blaine, Washington in 2021.

Police say Pastor Bates has been contacted several times and has been considered a person of interest in earlier investigations, but police say it wasn’t until Tuesday that there was sufficient evidence to charge him.

Pastor Bates is facing a charged of Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Images.

During his arrest, police found two flash drives containing “numerous images of child pornography.” They say more charges are expected as the investigation continues and more evidence is analyzed.

Bates’ bail is set at $3,000 cash. A Class A Felony is punishable up to 15 years in State Prison.