Last year, the wife of 39-year-old Tony Waller was looking for a file on a laptop they both shared. What she ended up finding was a folder fill o’ child porn. According to police, Waller had amassed a collection of around 400,000 images and videos of pubescent girls.
She called police and Waller, who worked at Jonesboro First Assembly of God since 1999 and was a bus driver for Jonesboro Public Schools, admitted he had a child porn addiction for the last 20 years.
But as police continued their investigation, they found that Waller had more than a child porn addiction – he was also a predator. Waller had installed hidden cameras in the church’s bathroom and a house the church owned across the street.
Even worse, two girls – aged 10 to 11 – would come forward to say that Waller had been sexually abusing them for several years. They told police Waller would take the girls in the woods, in Waller’s office, or in other locations at the church, where he would take off their clothes and sexually molest them.
Waller ended up pleading not guilty to charges of rape, child porn possession and voyeurism, but would change his plea to guilty on Tuesday morning. Despite this, the courts moved ahead with a sentencing phase while allowing witnesses to take the stand before the judge decided on Waller’s punishment.
One of the witnesses was a relative of the victims who brought several people in the courtroom to tears as she described the moment she found out Waller had been molesting the girls.
Another witness was one of the victims. Looking directly at Waller she said, “I forgive you, I love you and I pray for you.” This brought the rest of the courtroom to tears, including Waller who began sobbing loudly.
Waller decided to take the stand in his own defense, hoping to sway the judge from giving him the maximum penalty of a life behind bars like the prosecution wanted. He told the court that he was sorry for what he did, and that he had an addiction that had since been cured.
The judge didn’t buy it, stating there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Waller had an addiction and that Waller was nothing more than a run-of-the-mill child predator who was trying to manipulate the courts just as he manipulated the victims.
Adding that he believed Waller was still a danger to children, he agreed with the prosecution and sentenced him to a life behind bars. Kudos, Judge Brent Davis.Tags: Arkansas, Child Molestation, Child Pornography, church, Crime, pastor, Pedophile, Rape, Tony Waller