Local pastor charged with stealing from church makes court appearance

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Reporter - Kendall Downing

JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. - Accused of stealing from the flock. A former pastor charged with theft from his congregation appeared before a Jackson County judge Tuesday afternoon.

On Friday, Carbondale Police arrested 32-year-old Joshua Swain and charged him with theft over $100,000 from a place of worship and aggravated identity theft.

Swain was a staff pastor at The View Church on Giant City Road in Carbondale.

Swain appeared before the judge via video-conference and asked for a bond reduction. He said his wife is pregnant with the couple's second child, and she'd due any day now.

He wanted a lesser bond, so he could get out of jail and see the birth. The judge denied the request.

According to court documents, the thefts from The View occurred over a period of two years, from 2011 until June of 2013.

Swain also faces an aggravated identity theft charge. Prosecutors said he stole the identity of a church member to get money and credit from Chase Bank. Carbondale Police recently started the investigation. The charges came days later.

Church leaders haven't spoken publicly about the ordeal.

Tuesday Swain told the judge he needed an attorney, and the judge appointed the public defender.

A group of people in attendance at the court appearance said they had no comment.

The judge set a preliminary hearing date for Tuesday, August 20th at 1 p.m.

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