Digital Access

Digital Access
Access daily-chronicle.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more!

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Crime & Courts

DeKalb pastor, school mentor faces child porn charges

Corey D. Butler, 34, of DeKalb
Corey D. Butler, 34, of DeKalb

DeKALB – A local pastor who mentored students in DeKalb schools was being held in DeKalb County jail Wednesday on child pornography charges.

Corey D. Butler, 34, of the 1600 block of Kent Street in DeKalb, was arrested Tuesday after a police search of his home uncovered images of child pornography on a computer in his bedroom, court records show. Butler faces charges including possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, according to court records.  The most serious charge, dissemination of child pornography, is punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

His bond was set at $101,500, which included bond for a past traffic violation. He would have to post $10,150 bail to be released. 

The Illinois Crimes against Children Task Force, which includes an officer from Sycamore Police, learned that child pornography was being shared from an address on Kent Place from Feb. 28 to March 2 of this year, according to court records.

In an interview with DeKalb police, Butler admitted possessing the material and that he allowed others to access, view and download it, court records show.

Hundreds of images were found, but so far, nothing suggests that Butler abused any children in the area, DeKalb Police Lt. Bob Redel said. Anyone with any information about potential abuse is asked to contact DeKalb Police at 815-748-8400.

"... If there are victims, I’m sure we’re going to get phone calls,” Redel said.

Butler is a pastor who oversees the Jesus is the Way Christian Center, which meets at the Holiday Inn Express in DeKalb as well as in the Heritage Room at the Holmes Student Center at NIU. The services included themes like "Get Crunk Sunday" and #FML (Fix My Life) Sunday.

He has been active in the school district since 2011. He sought to run for the school board that year, but was disqualified for using the title “Dr.” on his nominating petitions. Butler often introduced himself as “doctor.”

Butler’s credentials could not be confirmed, however. In online biographies, Butler claims to have graduated with a B.A. in corporate communications from Northern Illinois University in 2003, but university spokesman Joe King said the NIU Alumni Association had no record of him graduating from the school.

He also claims to hold master’s and doctorate degrees in theology from NSCU, or New Song Christian University – but no school with that name could be found online.

District 428 Superintendent Doug Moeller said he met Butler in 2011 through Derrick Smith, the academic counselor at NIU’s Center for Black Studies, who had been working with students in the Black Student Union at DeKalb High School.

“In the 2011-‘12 year, he brought Butler along with him and introduced him as an ordained minister with a congregation in town, and said he was willing to help mentor and volunteer with the Black Student Union,” Moeller said. “We did the basic background check for volunteers, and everything came back fine, so he started working with the kids at the high school.”

Smith did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Moeller said Butler was a charismatic person who introduced himself as “doctor,” and that students liked him. He was strictly a volunteer and never was paid, Moeller said.

“I thought he’d be a good role model for these kids, that’s what’s so disturbing about this,” Moeller said. “A lot of kids really looked up to him.”

This was Butler’s fourth school year working with District 428 students through the Black Student Union, which holds weekly meetings. He started working with high-schoolers and then began working with the Black Student Union groups at both middle schools, mostly in small groups, Moeller said.

“I last corresponded with him on Monday, he emailed because he said his congregation didn’t have a church, and he had asked about using one of the schools on Sunday to hold services,” Moeller said. “I hadn’t even gotten back to him before I heard from Lt. Redel at the DeKalb Police Department, so obviously I just deleted the email.”

Loading more