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Brevard County church security minister faces child porn charges

Man was on security team at Calvary Chapel, also listed as ministry assistant

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MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Brevard County church security minister is facing child pornography charges after church officials contacted police to report concerns made by a relative, News 6 partner Florida Today reports. 

Calvary Chapel Melbourne security minister Andrew Martin Leone, 49, was arrested Tuesday on 30 counts of possession of material depicting child sexual conduct, promotion of material depicting child sexual conduct and using a computer to seduce, solicit or lure a child.

Leone is being held on a $1,155,000 bond, according to Brevard County Jail Complex records.

“(The church) was notified by a family member and the church called us the day they found out. Leone was not allowed to return to work. They were quick and swift in their response. The church’s utmost concern was for the safety of their children,” said Detective Jennifer Graves of the Palm Bay Police Department.

Police, who searched Leone's Palm Bay home, discovered 30 images in Leone’s possession.

The images were of two local victims who were underage at the time. Neither of the two victims depicted in the photos recovered in the case were connected to the church. Both are also now in their 20s, Palm Bay police report. Police did not reveal how Leone knew the two victims.

Leone, well-trusted by the congregation after years of attendance and work, had belonged to the security team at Calvary Chapel – one of the largest congregations in Brevard with over 10,000 worshipers attending each weekend and several satellite locations across Brevard – and was listed as a ministry assistant who worked closely with church administrators and with the church’s Youth Outreach Unleashed program.

The West Melbourne church, contacted by Florida Today, expressed disappointment with and said that it is following the lead of Palm Bay police in assisting with the investigation.

“We are deeply disheartened at the news of the charges and arrest of Andrew Leone,” said Melody Glover, spokeswoman for Calvary Chapel. “The church took the first steps of initiating an investigation into Andrews conduct after receiving information that prompted us to place Andrew on administrative leave.  We contacted the proper authorities to take over the investigation and are cooperating fully with the Palm Bay Police Department."

Leone was immediately fired once he was arrested, Glover said.

He was booked into the Brevard County Jail Complex. He will have a Jan. 5 arraignment hearing on the charges.