Baptist camp director charged with online solicitation of a minor - Word&Way

Baptist camp director charged with online solicitation of a minor

MINDEN, La. (ABP) — A Louisiana Baptist camp director was arrested Oct. 7 for allegedly soliciting sexual favors and sending inappropriate photos of himself to a minor online.

Michael P. Latham, 45, faces charges of indecent behavior with a juvenile and on-line solicitation of a minor, the Shreveport Times reported. State police and the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office picked up as part of a multijurisdictional law enforcement operation that targets sexual predators.

Authorities say Latham, director of Harris Baptist Conference and Retreat Center in northwest Louisiana for about eight years, engaged in numerous sexually oriented conversations on the Internet with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. Police said Latham admitted to the allegations when arrested. He was placed in custody at Claiborne Parish Jail.

"Camp Harris," as it is commonly called, is a 51-year-old Southern Baptist campground owned by the Bienville, Concord Union and Webster Claiborne Baptist associations. Website descriptions call it “an oasis of tranquility” that “has been ministering to young people for 50 years.”

“Our camps are designed to reach each camper with the message of salvation,” the camp website proclaims.