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Former youth leader arrested

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    A former local youth leader at a Forest church is facing a felony count for the unlawfully filming of a minor.
    Auri Christopher Collin Jones, 28, of Lynchburg was arrested Wednesday on one felony count of unlawful filming, videotaping or photographing of a minor. On Thursday, Jones was arrested on a misdemeanor count of the same charge, related to filming someone over the age of 18.
    The charges are related to the filming of someone not consenting to it in the nude or undergarments at a place where they had the reasonable expectation of privacy.
    Law enforcement officials are working with a local church in Bedford County and two colleges
in the Lynchburg area where Jones was employed as a youth leader and adjunct professor, according to a release from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office.
    One charge is related to his work at the Forest church and the other to his work at a college in Lynchburg.
    Jones’ LinkedIn account listed him last week as a youth director at Mountain View United Methodist Church in Forest, a media presenter for Worth Your Wait, a family life teacher for schools/ organizations around Central Virginia and an instructor of public speaking for Central Virginia Community College.
    Vern Castle, chair of the staff parish relations committee with Mountain View UMC, said the church is fully cooperating with police. He also said Jones is no longer employed with the church.
    According to police, the charges involve "upskirting."
    Last year Jones gave the baccalaureate address at Jefferson Forest High School.
    Jones was also serving as an adjunct professor at Lynchburg College this semester. According to Shannon Brennan, director of media relations at LC, Jones was in his first semester with the school, working in the communications studies department. He is no longer employed at the college.
    Jones was also a volunteer on the “Finding Faith” film that was filmed this summer in Bedford County and the surrounding area. Authorities have not found any link to criminal activity that occurred during the filming, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The investigation is continuing in multiple jurisdictions and additional charges are pending, the BCSO stated.
    The film “Finding Faith” is being sponsored by the Safe Surfin’ Foundation and is aimed at educating youth and parents about the dangers that lurk on the Web by Internet predators.
    Jones has been released on bond from the Blue Ridge Regional Jail, Lynchburg Facility.