Former Lecanto church worship director arrested on sex charges

By Kim Leoffler, Holly Gregory, Laurie Davison, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Thursday, July 13, 2017, 9:05 PM EDT

Citrus County Sheriff's deputies arrested a former worship director at a Lecanto church on a number of sex charges, including video voyeurism and lewd and lascivious exhibition.

  • Chad Robison, 36, once worked at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church
  • Investigation into Robison began in May 2017
  • Robison's computer contained thousands of videos, pictures

Officials said the investigation into Chad Robison, 36, began in May 2017. Personnel at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, where Robison worked as the worship director from 2011 to 2017, reported him to the Sheriff's Office after a co-worker discovered inappropriate videos on a laptop he'd left at work. The church immediately terminated Robison following their report of the discovery to authorities.

"Once [the church] determined that it involved children, they reported it to us," said Citrus Sheriff Mike Pendergast.

While investigating Robison's laptop, Citrus Sheriff's detectives went through more than 3,000 videos and 350,000 pictures he'd collected on the device. They found hundreds of items featuring young girls performing virtual sex acts with Robison, as well as video of young girls using the bathroom in his home that he captured without their knowledge.

"This is a textbook case of an online sexual predator and this is a gross example of it, where this guy looks just like a guy you would walk past in Walmart or Publix going into the checkout line and you would never know it," said Pendergast.

Detectives do not at this time know who the girls recorded in Robison's bathroom are.

The videos the Sheriff's Office obtained were created over a span of several years, the most recent of which was created just months ago.

In addition to being terminated, the church banned Robison from its campus. So far, detectives have found no evidence that any inappropriate activity happened on campus.

Still, Pendergast described the incident as "devastating."

"Anytime somebody has an incident like this, it rattles the foundation of the fabric of that organization, and it truly is a human tragedy to have something like that happen," said Pendergast.

Robison was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition, in connection with Robison allegedly masturbating live over a computer online service, knowing that the transmission was being viewed by victim(s) less than 16 years of age. Detectives also charged him with knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child and three counts of video voyeurism for his own use.

Detectives have already discovered several out of state victims. The Sheriff's Office is asking that parents, parishioners, or anyone who might have had contact with Robison and think they might have been a victim contact detectives at 352-726-1121.