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Former minister charged with child sex crime

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Chambers terminated from DeHaven Baptist

By Taylor Riley

By TAYLOR RILEY

REPORTER, The Oldham Era

Howard Key Chambers, 62, a former minister of music at DeHaven Baptist Church in La Grange, is being charged by the United States Attorney for child enticement after allegedly placing a sexually explicit ad on Craiglist.

Chambers was suspended from the church without pay pending the court hearing, but after the church personnel met last week, Chambers was terminated from his position and his desk was cleared, according to Senior Pastor Ross Bauscher.

“We want to see justice prevail,” Bauscher said. “We are saddened that this happened.”

Bauscher said his church is moving forward and currently learning to “heal.”

“You can see the sense of unity of the church,’ Bauscher said. “Our prayers go out to all parties involved.”

Chambers was present for his detention and preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court in Louisville earlier this week.

According to A. Spencer McKiness, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, the ad was placed by Chambers, who was looking to conduct a sexual fantasy as a “granddaddy” figure with a woman who would pose as a “teen asked to look after granddaddy.”

Excerpts of an interview conducted by the FBI on the day of the arrest were played and had Chambers saying that a man responded to the ad and the two men corresponded to meet at the man’s residence.

In the interview, Chambers told detectives that he initially thought the arrangement was to have sexual contact with the man’s wife but when he arrived at the residence it was actually with the man’s 10-year-old daughter.

McKiness told Judge James D. Moyer that Chambers engaged in oral sex with the child not only the first time they met, but on numerous occasions. McKiness said sometimes Chambers paid the girl’s father for the sexual acts.

Chambers told the detectives he continued contact because he was afraid the child would go to the police.

McKiness also presented the court with a photo that shows the juvenile in a sexually oriented position with a figure on a couch in a residence. In the FBI interview, Chambers said he recognized the unknown figure wearing his shoes.

The prosecutor told the judge Chambers did not have an isolated incident, and that he actively sought out to commit this crime, and there may be additional charges to come, including production of child pornography and trafficking of children.

Armand I. Judah, who represents Chambers, explained to the judge the ad was not intended for a juvenile and it was an isolated incident. Judah also noted that Chambers had no other prior offenses and has an excellent family and job history in the church.

Moyer did not buy Judah’s defense though, adding that because Chambers engaged in the act repeatedly, he violated not only the trust of the child, but the community as a leader in the church for decades, and his family, as well.

“This is the pit of horror,” Moyer said. “It’s the worst kind of abuse.”

Moyer denied Chambers request for a bail amount and he will remain in the Oldham County Jail until his next court date. Chambers’ arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 25.

Email us about this story at taylorriley@oldhamera.com.