Former volunteer youth pastor at Dunning church facing child pornography charges

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A former youth pastor who volunteered at a Chicago church now faces child pornography charges.

All the alleged victims are female and parishioners of the church.

Authorities said since 2015, former youth pastor Daniel Ramos has been sending inappropriate pictures and messages to children at the church where he volunteered.

"Ramos met and befriended the victims. Ramos would connect with the victims on social media, including Snapchat," said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Jacqueline Marquardt.

The 29-year old southwest suburban Burbank man has been charged with six felony counts of child pornography, indecent solicitation of a child, and grooming for allegedly asking four female parishioners at Victory Worship Center for sex and to send him naked pictures of themselves.

The church is located in Chicago's Dunning neighborhood on the city's Far Northwest Side.

Authorities said the girls, who were at various ages between 12 and 17 years old when the abuse occurred, met Ramos while he worked as their youth pastor.

In court, Ramos, a husband and father, showed little emotion as prosecutors outlined his alleged crimes.

"At first, the conversations with the victims were normal. Then Ramos began complimenting the victims' physical appearances and then over time asked them for pictures" said Marquardt.

Investigators said Ramos had at least one encounter with one of his alleged victim's identified only by her initials, at the church which closed a few months ago because of a fire. Services are now held off-site.

"When V.B. was 16 years old, V.B. was at church, Ramos hugged V.B. And whispered a complement about V.B.'s physical appearance into her ear," said Marquardt.

Prosecutors said he then touched her inappropriately.

Church officials said they learned of the possible misconduct by Ramos in August of 2017 and notified police after one of the victims told her mother about the alleged abuse.

In a statement, Victory's lead pastor Chris Wallace said the former volunteer and unpaid youth worker,"...has not been affiliated with the church for numerous months, Daniel Ramos is no longer affiliated with Victory Worship Center," in an email.

Investigators said the recovered screenshots from one of the victims' phones of those conversations and they also have Ramos's phone, which has not yet been analyzed.

In a court appearance Tuesday, a judge set Ramos's bond at $100,000. He is due back in court next week.
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