Deputies: Pastor uploaded child sex abuse images using church’s WiFi

Daryl Hayes was indicted on six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Daryl Hayes
Daryl Hayes(Williamson County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 9:40 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Williamson County pastor was indicted after investigators found he used his church’s internet connection to upload images of child sex abuse online, according to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

Daryl Hayes, 50, was charged with six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began investigating Hayes after receiving a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a media release said.

The tip led to the search of the Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ, where Hayes was lead pastor, and his residence. While details of the search were not immediately made available, Hayes was immediately fired from the church, according to the release. Detectives do not believe there were any local child victims or any additional concerns for the public, the release said.

Ken Young, an attorney who represents the church, released the following statement:

“In December 2022, the Shepherds at Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ were notified by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office of its investigation into allegations against Daryl Hayes regarding receiving and/or distributing material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. The Shepherds were not aware of the actions taken by Hayes prior to being notified of the investigation by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. Upon becoming aware of the investigation, the Shepherds immediately terminated Hayes’ employment with the Church. The Shepherds have cooperated fully in the investigation and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as this matter moves forward.

While we are not aware of any harm to any families affiliated with Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ, the Church condemns sexual immorality of any kind and especially holds its leaders to a high standard of accountability for their actions, especially those actions that may adversely affect children. We pray for all those who have been affected by this matter.”

Anyone with information related to this case, you’re urged to contact Investigator Paul Lusk here.