SIOUX CENTER, Iowa - Curtis Van Dam, a former school teacher at Sioux Center Christian School was arrested Wednesday, charged with 140 counts of various sexual abuse charges. Van Dam was first arrested in October on one count of lascivious conduct with a minor and one count of lascivious acts with a child. He now faces 14 counts of sexual exploitation by a teacher, 72 counts of 2nd degree sexual abuse, 12 counts of 3rd degree sexual abuse, three counts of lascivious acts with a child, 34 counts of lascivious conduct with a minor, and five counts of indecent exposure. This is repeated sexual abuse of children over the course of many years and it couldn’t be written off as a false report or something similar.
For now it is staying confidential what is the number of victims involved in the case, and whether they were boys or girls. "I'm trying to protect the victims as much as I can," Sioux Center Police Chief Paul Adkins said. "I can tell you there were numerous victims and that all the victims were children." Adkins said the abuse happened at various locations that he couldn't disclose, but one of those locations was at Sioux Center Christian School where Van Dam was previously employed. Adkins said Van Dam had been a teacher there for 13 years. The first charge of abuse a victim reported in this case was in 2013.
A Public Statement from Sioux Center Christian School by Mr. Josh Bowar on November 8, 2017, reads:
We need to remember that though the charges are many, it also means that many students are no longer carrying secrets. Kids, we want you to know that we consider you brave for telling your parents, the police, and the interviewers what happened to you. We praise God that your testimony has brought to light a dark secret that none of us adults knew was there. You have played an important role in keeping others safe.
He also pointed out that they need to continue praying and he added: “We’ve brought our anger and fears to the Lord, and now we need to lay those feelings again at His feet.”
Some beleive that the victims now need much more than just prayers — and maybe they don’t want to hear about God at all because a ‘God’s man’ was the one who hurt them in the first place. Children and the whole community need concrete solutions to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
On November 15, the school will host a counseling session for parents and 5th through 8th grade students with Pastor Aaron & Nicole Baart.
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