Former Knoxville children’s pastor in court after human trafficking sting


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Jason Kennedy, a former children’s pastor at Grace Baptist Church made his first appearance in Knox County Criminal court.

Kennedy was arrested during a human trafficking sting operation in May 2016. The former pastor is charged with solicitation of patronization of prostitution from a minor-trafficking for commercial acts. TBI said he responded to ads for what he thought were girls under the age of 18.

Jason Kennedy (Photo: Knox County Sheriff’s Office)

In court Thursday a status date for his trial was set for May 19. The case will go before a grand jury.

Previously, Kennedy has pleaded not guilty in June 2016. He is represented Knoxville defense attorney Greg Issacs.

“Stings of this nature are typically high-pressure law enforcement operations that ensnare a lot of people,” Isaacs said. “Many of those individuals are not predisposed to commit the crimes they are swept up and later charged with, so I would encourage everyone to keep an open mind as this matter goes forward.”


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