Sean Higgins, former Palmyra, New Jersey youth pastor, indicted for online sexual exploitation

PALMYRA, NJ (WPVI) — A 31-year-old former youth pastor from Palmyra, New Jersey, has been accused of posing as a teenager on social media to trick underage boys into sending him explicit pictures and videos.

According to the Burlington County Attorney’s Office, Sean Higgins, 31, has been charged with 75 counts, including child endangerment, aggravated sexual assault and online harassment.

Investigators said Higgins would assume the role of a teenager, using Snapchat and Instagram to strike up a conversation with a young man and introducing himself as Julie Miller. After establishing a relationship, he would suggest that they exchange photos. Higgins would then send pictures of an unidentified female teenager, investigators said.

When Higgins received the photos of his victims, he threatened to share them unless the person complied with his demands, investigators said.

Prosecutors say the indictment dates back to 2020 and there are at least 13 victims from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states. The victims are between 12 and 17 years old.

Higgins is accused of committing the crimes while serving as youth pastor and music director at Harbor Baptist Church in Hainesport. He also worked as a teacher at Harbor Baptist Academy, a private K-12 school housed in the same facility.

Investigators say no members of the Harbor Baptist Church and Academy were involved in the alleged crimes.

Anyone who believes their child has had an inappropriate interaction on Snapchat or Instagram with someone named Julie Miller, Julia Miller, or anyone else is asked to call authorities at 609-265-7113.

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