Former Los Alamos Pastor Paul Cunningham
Police arrested former Los Alamos Pastor Paul Cunningham last Friday evening on San Ildefonso Road and charged him with two counts of sexual exploitation of children.
According to court documents obtained by the Los Alamos Daily Post, investigators executed a search warrant at Cunningham’s home, at 4732 Brisa Del Bosque, and found more than 400 explicit images of children and nine pornographic videos on computers belonging to Cunningham. Twenty-two of the images had been shared through several social media sites.
Cunningham, 54, was caught after authorities received information in February from a detective working in the Westminster Police Department in Colorado. He was investigating a case in his jurisdiction related to child pornography and in the process found that an IP address belonging to Cunningham was suspected of sending child pornography related material to a subject in Colorado.
The detective provided a zip drive of the material to Los Alamos Sheriff Marco Lucero and Deputy Sheriff John Horne who turned it over to Los Alamos police. Police launched an investigation, which led to the former pastor’s arrest.
Cunningham faced Magistrate Judge Pat Casados last Monday on a felony first appearance and was ordered to “not be online in any way”, no Internet contact, not be around any children under 18 and report at least twice a week to Probation Officer Linda Pena. He was released from jail on a $5,000 cash or surety bond.
Cunningham served for 14 years at First Baptist Church of Los Alamos at 2200 Diamond Dr. FBCLA Youth Pastor Mike Brake provided the following statement to the Los Alamos Daily Post on behalf of the church:
“First Baptist Church of Los Alamos was notified on March 5 by Paul Cunningham that he was under investigation. He was immediately placed on leave and removed from all duties. As of March 31 Paul Cunningham was no longer employed by the church.
“To the best of our knowledge, the alleged actions for which he has been arrested were part of his life outside the church and to date, law enforcement has not communicated to FBCLA that any crime or criminal behavior occurred within the church or its ministries.
“These alleged actions in no way reflect the character and mission of FBCLA. We were grieved to learn about the investigation and charges filed against Paul Cunningham, but much more importantly we are concerned for the safety and protection of minors in our church and community.”