A prominent Louisiana Christian pastor, well known for his anti-gay stand, has been convicted of obscenity after being caught masturbating at a public park, near a children's playground last year.
As NOLA.com reports, the Rev. Grant Storms, the former "Christian patriot" pastor apparently considered public masturbation as "a thrill," and admitted when he was arrested in February last year that it was the third time that week he had masturbated in the same park.
In his confession, Storms told Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Kevin Balser he had taken a break from his grass cutting business to drink a beer in the park, when he said he became "horny." He admitted he put his hands into his underwear, but never exposed himself. When Balser asked him why he chose the park, Nola.com reports Storms responded, "I don't know, I guess it was a thrill."
The judge in the case didn't even break from the trial to deliberate his verdict, finding the 55-year old Storms, guilty of one count of obscenity. He sentenced Storms to 3-years probation and ordered the reverend to undergo psychological evaluation.
Even though the incident happened near a children's playground, authorities say it doesn't appear that Storms is a pedophile. Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute said in his opening statement that police did not find any evidence of child porn on his computer or cellphone and there was "never a shred of evidence (showing) that Mr. Storms was masturbating to children."
Nola.com reports that Storms held an impromptu news conference after his arrest, saying, "I apologize deeply for my inappropriate, sinful actions," describing himself as "disoriented and confused."
The Huffington Post says Storms called himself a "Christian patriot," and made a name for himself with his vocal protests to the annual Southern Decadence Festival, New Orleans annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.