Authorities said an Upstate man was arrested on Friday in connection with a child pornography investigation.

Easley resident Owen Robertson, age 53, was arrested after the South Carolina Attorney General's Office said he was found to be in possession of multiple child porn images.

Robertson is facing nine counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, a crime punishable by up to 10 years on each count.

A deacon for First Baptist of Easley confirmed Robertson was previously the minister of education at the church but left in March. He also served briefly as an interim children's minister. Below is the official statement released by First Baptist of Easley:“We are very distressed about the matter. We know that this situation has caused Mr. Robertson’s family pain. We are praying for their well-being and that God will protect and strengthen them at this time. We ask others to pray for them as well.”The church said they have a policy in place which was also in effect while Robertson worked at the church, requiring two adults to be present any time they are with a child.

Easley police said multiple sexually explicit images of underage children were found on church-owned devices. The arrest warrants state Robertson had the images in his possession on February 10 of this year. He was later released on a $27,000 bond.

Robertson's neighbor said he is shocked by the allegations.

“It’s pretty disgusting when you've got kids and you have somebody in your neighborhood, just a few houses down, that's been charged with that," said David Turner, Robertson's long-time neighbor.

The Easley Police Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children, or ICAC, Task Force, made the arrest with help of SLED and the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.

"Most of what we do see is that these type of offenders are typically involved with children in some way, shape or form,” said Joe Ryan, Education Coordinator with the ICAC Task Force, "A lot of times these offenders are teachers, coaches, members of a church or people that work with kids everyday and are in a position where they have access to children."

Investigators said the images appear to be from internet sites and do not show anyone that Robertson knows personally. Church officials confirmed that no church members were part of this investigation.

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