Ex Livingston minister back in jail on probation violations

Nathan Kesler (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Nathan Kesler (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - A former Livingston music minister who pleaded guilty to taking photos of women in a dollar store bathroom is back in jail after allegedly violating several terms of his probation.

Nathan Scott Kesler, 37, was booked into the Angelina County Jail on Tuesday on an order for surrender warrant. Lufkin Police spokesman Det. J.B. Smith said a probation officer saw Kesler entering the 600 block of Chestnut Street and knew of the warrant for his arrest. Officers arrived on the scene and arrested him on the charge.

"There's two ways to look at it. He is making bad choices early on in probation. However, maybe he hasn't been in treatment long enough to learn the tools he needs to learn to make better choices," said Angelina County Probation Supervision Officer Lisa Page.

Kesler has been out of state jail since March, when Judge Gerald Goodwin granted him shock probation after he had served 90 days.

Kesler pleaded guilty to three counts of state-jail felony improper photography in October, in connection to a November 2010 investigation at Dollar King, located at 501 S. Timberland Drive, dealing with a complaint that he had been using a cell phone in a female restroom to record activity.

The woman said she had used the restroom and noticed the phone on a shelf positioned in such a way that it would record her with the built-in camera. The woman said she left the restroom and was approached by another female employee who said she saw the phone in the restroom.

The woman told police she then saw Kesler, who was a manager at the store, go into the restroom and lock the door, then leave the restroom. The woman then went back into the restroom and saw that the phone had been repositioned.

Police detectives obtained a search warrant which authorized them to search the content of the phone.

After an interview with Kesler, detectives used search warrants to search Kesler's e-mail accounts and found multiple images from the restroom. The images show two female employees and a child in the restroom, and Kesler placing the phone in the restroom, according to the report.

According to Angelina County Adult Probation Supervisor Dustin Fore, the department obtained an order for detention after Kesler had violated several terms of his probation, including contact with a person under the age of 17, sending and receiving obscene material by email and using a computer to access social media sites.

Kesler's probation officer will be setting a judicial administrative hearing with the court to determine whether to address his violations by adding more terms to his probation or by filing a violation report with the district attorney's office and requesting a motion to revoke proceeding be considered, Fore said.

Shock probation is a method judges use to rehabilitate convicted felons by putting them in jail then "shocking" them out in hopes they learned their lesson.

Kesler also worked as a music minister at a Livingston church.

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