Former Macon Teacher and Church Youth Leader Charged with Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material

A former teacher and volunteer leader of a church youth ministry had his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon after a grand jury returned a four-count indictment this week charging him with allegedly distributing and possessing child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Christian Baumgarth, 27, of Atlanta and formerly of Macon, is charged with two counts of distribution of child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography. If convicted, Baumgarth faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison up to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of distribution of child pornography and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of possession of child pornography. In addition, Baumgarth faces a maximum $250,000 fine per count and up to a lifetime of supervised release. The federal grand jury returned the indictment on May 14. The indictment was unsealed today. Baumgarth had his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles H. Weigle.

The indictment alleges that Baumgarth distributed digital video files on July 23, 2023, depicting a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also alleges that Baumgarth possessed child pornography of a prepubescent minor and a minor under the age of 12 years old on his cellular devices on Aug. 1, 2023.

Baumgarth was a teacher and coach at First Presbyterian Day (FPD) School in Macon from 2018-2023. Additionally, he was a volunteer small group leader in the student ministry at Northway Church in Macon from 2019-2023. Parents and guardians of children who may have encountered Baumgarth and have concerns related to this investigation can contact Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at 1-866-347-2423.

The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the FBI.