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Children's pastor charged with soliciting girls online

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A children's pastor at a church in Savage was charged Monday with trying to solicit nude photos from girls ages 13 to 15 via Facebook and other social media sites, the Star Tribune reports.

Matthew Boos, 24, of St. Louis Park, was a minister at River Valley Church. According to the criminal complaint, Boos admitted to the sheriff's department that he posed as a 15-year-old girl on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Meet Me to try to meet teenage girls.

The charges involve a girl from Pope County in western Minnesota.

River Valley Church, which has six campuses in the Twin Cities, released a statement Monday afternoon saying Boos had been fired “effective immediately.” He had worked at the church for three years, and had passed a background check when he was hired, according to a previous statement from church officials.

The charges allege that Boos attempted to solicit a girl via social media during a sting operation that began after a parent who lives in Pope County reported her daughter, who was under the age of 15, had received inappropriate messages via Facebook from an account under the name "Jordyn Saltzer," FOX 9 reports.

Boos told investigators he met his victims via his job as a pastor, but the girls didn’t know they were actually communicating with him, according to the Star Tribune. He said he would sometimes friend a friend of one of the youth group participants, which he said is probably how he ended up communicating with the girl in Pope County.

Pope County investigators believe there could be more victims, and they're asking victims or parents who believe their child was victimized to contact law enforcement authorities, according to FOX 9.

Boos is in custody at the Douglas County Jail.

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