Youth pastor arrested for sexual exploitation of minors

Mary Jo Denton

Herald-Citizen Staff

The Herald-Citizen

Cookeville, TN

November 7, 2008

COOKEVILLE -- A youth minister here was arrested yesterday by Rutherford County authorities who allege that he has committed several offenses involving some type of sexual exploitation of minors.

Daniel J. Lowhorn, 29, of W. Whitehall Road, Cookeville, a youth minister at Midway Baptist Church on Old Kentucky Road, is charged with 14 counts of sexual exploitation-related offenses, according to Rutherford County Sheriff's Detective Mickey McCullough.

Reportedly, the alleged offenses were committed via the Internet, and computers were seized yesterday at Lowhorn's home when McCullough, TBI agents, and Putnam Sheriff's Detectives Shane Higgenbotham and Jimmy Patterson executed a search warrant there.

McCullough said the charges against Lowhorn are as follows: two counts of solicitation of a minor; 10 counts of solicitation of a minor to observe sexual conduct; one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor; and one count of attempted especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.

The detective would not disclose any details of the case except to list the charges.

He said Lowhorn was arrested at his home on Thursday and was taken to the Rutherford County jail for booking. His bond was set at a total of $280,000, and he posted bond yesterday and was released.

Putnam Sheriff's Detective Higgenbotham confirmed that he was contacted about the case in late October by TBI Agent Dan Friel, who was working with the Rutherford detective.

Higgenbotham said the case came out of an investigation in which a Rutherford law officer "posed as a minor female on the Internet in a chat room."

On Nov. 6, Higgenbotham and Patterson and Deputies Sam Lee and Chris Muncy accompanied TBI Agents Dan Friel and Bill Miller and Detective McCullough to the Midway Baptist Church looking for Lowhorn, but did not find him there. They then located him at his home and arrested him.

He is scheduled to appear in Rutherford General Sessions Court at 10 a.m. Dec. 17.

SNAP Note: Midway Baptist Church in Cookeville, Tennessee, is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.