Pastor and wife FOUND GUILTY of defrauding friends and church members of $1,200,000

Terry Millender said “You can’t do good and be poor at the same time,” he testified. “You can’t help the poor and be poor, it makes no sense.”

The Alexandria, Va., pastor told his parishioners they could benefit themselves while doing good if they invested in his Christian-based company lending small amounts of money to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Terry-Wayne-Millender-and-Brenda-Millender
 Pastor Terry Wayne Millender and his wife Brenda Millender

Instead, a jury in Alexandria  federal court agreed that Terry Millender and his wife Brenda Millender, who together ran Victorious Life Church, defrauded their friends and flock out of millions of dollars.

Terry Millender told investors they would make their money back with profit, all while fueling growth in developing countries. But that never happened.

At trial, the pastor argued that he was guilty only of financial mismanagement, not fraud.

He said he acted “stupidly, not criminally — not from my heart.”

He blamed the failure of his companies on the 2008 financial collapse and a banking crisis in Ukraine, among other events he said were unforeseeable.

Prosecutors said the couple had no experience in micro-lending and did not tell investors they planned to generate profit though risky currency trading. Their friends’ money was used to lure in new investors, according to court documents, and to make payments on a $1.75 million home in Springfield, Va.

After $1.4 million in micro-lending money was squandered and the company failed, the couple started another firm focused on the Nigerian oil industry. Investors in the micro-lending business were told that through the new venture they would be repaid. That company too collapsed, and their investors lost over $600,000. Again, prosecutors said much of the money went to pay the couple’s personal expenses, including golf games and rent.

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Grenetta Wells, who was chief operating officer of the micro-lending company, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and testified against the Millenders.

While Terry Millender was found guilty for all 31 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, false-tax-return filing and obstruction, his wife was found guilty only for seven.

“I’m pleased that the jury’s verdict at least acknowledges a vast difference between Mr. and Mrs. Millender’s respective involvement,” Brenda Millender’s lawyer, Lana Manitta, said. “However, our position is and will remain that Brenda Millender wasn’t involved at any level that triggers criminal culpability.”

A lawyer for Terry Millender did not immediately return a request for comment.

 Terry Millender argued on the stand that if he and his wife were really stealing from their investors, they would not have been evicted from their Springfield home or declared bankruptcy in 2010. Millender contended he had hoped to “make a difference in the lives of people” in Africa and South America and to see his friends rewarded by God for helping. The pastor told jurors he could have made plenty of money, having run a successful restaurant recommendation business, but he was called to lead a church and a Christian-focused investment firm. To truly make a difference, he said, he needed to not just give what he could to charity but make enough money to give significantly.

“You can’t do good and be poor at the same time,” he testified. “You can’t help the poor and be poor, it makes no sense.”

The Millenders, who were convicted Monday, both face up to 20 years in prison when they are sentenced in March.

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Local pastor among 140 johns busted in prostitution sting

 A Transport Security Administration (TSA) employee, a teacher, two attorneys and an HPD officer were also arrested as part of the sting. 

Senior pastor for the First Haitian Community Church, Ermonte Moliere was among the 140 men who were arrested during a prostitution sting by the Houston Police Department in October 2017. 

The Houston Police Department (HPD) arrested at least 140 men in a 10-day sting at a massage-parlor-turned-brothel on Westheimer. 

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Among the men arrested was Emonte Moliere, whom the First Haitian Community Church lists as the senior pastor.

Public records and the arrest complaint obtained by Chron.com match the same address for Moliere and his wife.

According to the church website, Moliere had been preaching in Houston for three years before taking his position with the First Haitian Community Church. 

Chron.com reached out to Moliere for comment, but encountered several disconnected phone numbers. A call placed to the church was not answered. 

 A Transport Security Administration (TSA) employee, a teacher, two attorneys and an HPD officer were also arrested as part of the sting. 
 The records also show that other than a minor traffic infraction, Moliere has no prior criminal history. Adam Casanova is among almost 140 men, including a Houston police officer, were arrested during a 10-day sting at former massage parlor turned brothel that was taken over by the Houston Police Department.
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Darick Favors, Bishop Known for Miraculous ‘Laying on of Hands’ Found Dead in Motel With ‘Drugs’

Favors who had been teaching at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Dallas since he was 19….

A Dallas pastor known for his miraculous “laying on of hands” ability was found dead about noon Wednesday, Dec. 13, at a Star Motel.

According to The Christian Post, bishop Darick Favors, 42,  had checked in to the motel on Monday and was expected to check out on Wednesday. He was found deceased in his room.

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Favors — who had been teaching at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Dallas since he was 19 — was allegedly found in the hotel with unknown drugs, and police have yet to determine his cause of death.

His wife shared a post to Facebook asking for people to “show [the] family mercy” and to “not interfere,” but rather to remember the good things about Favors and to pray for her and her family.

 

Chron.com reached out to the church for comment and were unable to reach anyone.

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ISIS Threatens Attacks on Churches in Washington DC, New York on Christmas

“We meet at Christmas in New York soon,” reads the caption of the poster…

Islamic State supporters have threatened to launch a terror attack in Washington, D.C. and New York on Christmas, according to the SITE intelligence group. A propaganda poster carries a picture that shows Washington’s National Cathedral erupting in flames while indicating that New York could be their target.

ISIS

“We meet at Christmas in New York soon,” reads the caption of the poster, which otherwise carries an image of Washington’s National Cathedral, reveals SITE, which monitors extremist communications online.

The poster was found circulating through a pro-Islamic State encrypted channel, Telegram.

“ISIS is incentivized to make threats like this, which come at no cost to them. ISIS is not dispatching fighters around the world for complex coordinated terrorist attacks, but has largely relied upon individuals and citizens already living in Europe and the United States to commit unsophisticated attacks,” Newsweek quotes Harrison Akins, a researcher at the Howard Baker Center, as saying. “These individuals’ affiliations with ISIS are often tenuous and are perhaps better described as ‘inspired by’ rather than operationally directed. So perhaps somebody within the U.S. will take it upon themselves to commit an attack on Christmas, which falsely bolsters the perceived capabilities and reach of the group.” 

In October, a 27-year-old man from Virginia, Mohamad Khweis, became the first U.S. citizen to be convicted of successfully joining the Islamic State terror group, also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Over 100 people in the U.S. have been charged with trying to support or join IS, but Khweis succeeded.

IS managed to encourage over 40,000 fighters from more than 110 countries to travel to join their fight before and after the declaration of the “caliphate” in June 2014, according to a report, “Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees.”

The report, recently released by the Washington-based security intelligence consultancy Soufan Center, states that there are now at least 5,600 citizens or residents from 33 countries who have returned home — accounting for about 15 percent of the fighters.

The report claims that for the U.S., 129 fighters succeeded in leaving the country and only seven have returned.

While IS has lost its territory in Syria and Iraq, the threat is far from over in the  Middle East or elsewhere.

Iraq declared earlier this month that its territory is now “fully liberated” from IS, overlooking warnings by allies that the terror group still poses a threat to the country in the form of guerrilla warfare.

“As ISIS continues to lose land, influence, funding streams and conventional capabilities, we expect them to return to their terrorist roots by conducting high-profile attacks on helpless civilians such as those we’ve already seen in Nasiriyah, Ramadi, and elsewhere over the past weeks,” a spokesperson of the U.S.-led international coalition said at the time.

Iranian influence is now present in Nineveh towns once mostly populated by Christians before IS took over, and has prevented some from returning to their homes.

Doctor Spikes Pregnant Girlfriend’s Tea With Abortion Pill

“He immediately started crying and said that he was a horrible person

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WREG-TV) — A doctor is facing several charges after his girlfriend said he spiked her drink with an abortion pill, causing her to lose her unborn baby, according to WROC.

Brook Fiske and Sikander Imran had been dating on and off for three years, when Imran, a doctor, moved from Rochester to Arlington, Va., for a new job. That’s when he learned Fiske was pregnant.

 

“He didn’t want to have a baby so he tried to talk me into having an abortion, which I didn’t want to do,” Fiske said.Fiske said she was 17 weeks pregnant when she went to Virginia to visit Imran to plan how they would raise the child. Fiske claims that’s when Imran poisoned her.  

Fiske said she was 17 weeks pregnant when she went to Virginia to visit Imran to plan how they would raise the child. Fiske claims that’s when Imran poisoned her.

“When I was drinking my tea in the evening, I got to the bottom of the cup, there was a gritty substance in there,” Fiske said. “And when I looked at it, I could tell that it was a pill that had been ground up.”

A few hours later, Fiske started having contractions.

“He immediately started crying and said that he was a horrible person and that he had done what I thought he did,” Fiske said.

She was rushed to Virginia Hospital Center, where she went into labor and lost her baby boy. Fiske said tests showed the abortion pill Misoprostol was found in her system.

“According to the nurse at the hospital, it’s 200 milligrams to induce labor, so he gave me 800,” Fiske said.    Imran was taken into custody.

According to court documents, he was charged with cause of abortion and premeditated killing of a fetus of another.

Fiske says she last saw him when she testified in court in June. She said that’s when she began to find some closure.

“It was very empowering for me to face him and say what he had done, and look him in the face while I said that,” Fiske said.

Imran’s trial was scheduled to begin this week, but court documents state that more charges have been added. His trial is now scheduled for March 12.

CNN contributed to this report.

Hindu Extremists Beat Pastors, Stop Gospel Event in Chhattisgarh State, India

“In the police station, we were forced to sign a letter handwritten by the activists …

Berating and slapping two pastors into signing an apology letter before police, Hindu extremists stopped a planned three-day gospel meeting in Chhattisgarh state, India minutes before it was to begin, sources said.
 
Hindu nationalists beat pastor Vijay Jogi and pastor Santosh Rao minutes before the start of the first meeting, where about 1,000 people had gathered at the Railway Grounds in Charoda, Durg District on Nov. 16, pastor Amos James told Morning Star News.
 
“Pastor Vijay Jogi and Pastor Santosh Rao were receiving the people at the entrance,” Pastor James said. “Suddenly a mob of 70 Hindu Dharm Sena and Bajrang Dal activists gheraoed [encircled] the entrance, and Pastor Jogi and Pastor Rao were beaten and summoned to the police station.”
 
Pastor Jogi told Morning Star News the hard-line Hindus were shouting, “Jai Sri Ram, Jai Sri Ram [Hail lord Ram].”

“The activists slapped Pastor Santosh Rao thrice and beat us both,” Pastor Jogi said. “By then we understood that these people will not let us conduct prayers.”
 
The 45-year-old father of two received a call from the Government Railway Police at around 6 p.m., minutes before the opening prayer. Police told him come to the police station immediately and warned him to call off the event, he said.
 
As in the previous 20 years, church leaders had obtained prior permission from both the railway and the railway police to conduct the event, a campaign that in past years has seen many people turn to Christ, he said. The Hindu extremists claimed organizers also needed permission from the sub-judicial magistrate.
 
“In the pamphlets we distributed earlier inviting people to attend the meeting, I quoted Luke chapter 7 and verses 22 and 23,” Pastor Jogi said. “The Hindu activists began arguing with us, ‘You are promoting blind beliefs. How can lame walk? How can deaf hear? How can you raise the dead? When your God can do all this, why are you people going to the doctors then?’

“They told me it is very wrong that I have written these lines. I said, ‘I did not write these words. It’s a verse taken from the Holy Bible and applies to the entire humankind.”’
 
Pastor Jogi tried telling them that in those verses Jesus Christ was telling John the Baptist the things people had seen and heard, and they told him, “We are offended by these lines,” he said.
 
“For which I immediately responded with apologies,” he said, telling them, “If because I quoted these lines in the pamphlet, it is offending you at personal level, I apologize to you brothers. We are very sorry!”
 
They then questioned them about permission, and Pastor Jogi showed them the railways and Grounds Railway Police permission letter, he said. They told him they needed permission from the sub-judicial magistrate.

“For past 20 years the Railway Grounds has been the venue for gospel meetings, and like every year we only had permission from the Railways and Railway Police since this area falls under the jurisdiction of Charoda Railway Police Station,” Pastor Jogi told Morning Star News.
 
The Hindu Dharm Sena and Bajrang Dal extremists took them to the police station, as even the Railway Police, for the first time, started questioning whether they had received permission from the sub-judicial magistrate, he said.
 
“The police told me to settle the matter here and stop the event immediately,” Pastor Jogi said. “I was cautioned while Pastor Rao and I were in the police station that the activists are tearing and burning the banners, breaking the tube lights, chairs and dismantling the stage. The police officer told us even if he lodged a case [against the extremists], it would go strongly against us, and that even he can’t help it. The police did not register an FIR.”

Church leaders had made elaborate preparations to make the facilities ready for the event, but federal and state governments are against Christianity, Pastor Rao said.
 
“There is very little hope for Christians in a situation like this,” said Pastor Rao, who in 2012 was falsely accused of forcible conversion. “In the police station, we were forced to sign a letter handwritten by the activists under the supervision of BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] worker Rajguru Ghosale. The letter said by conducting this meeting we hurt the feelings of Hindus, we sincerely apologize for it and cancelling the event. They slapped me to sign it.”
 
In the presence of police, the Hindu extremists repeatedly badgered the pastor with questions, Pastor Jogi said, asking them, “Why are you calling Hindus to your events? Why are you conducting open gospel meetings publicly? Why are you converting Hindus?”

“Right in front of the police they warned, ‘You must never go to a Hindu’s house, you work among the Christians only,’” Pastor Jogi told Morning Star News. “I told them our Christian meetings and gatherings are open for all. I don’t ask each person who attends the prayers whether they are a Muslim or Hindu. When we gather, it is in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ we gather, and His arms stretch out to everybody.”
 

Christians in Charoda are living in fear and have not filed any case against the Hindu extremists or police, sources said.  
 
Attorney Son Singh Jhali told the Christian leaders that they could take action against the extremist forces and police, but the pastors declined, he told Morning Star News.
 
Hindu nationalist groups have gathered several times in Charoda, plotting how to attack Christians, a source who requested anonymity told Morning Star News. Local BJP leaders supply alcohol to youth and instigate them to attack Christians in the state, the source said.
 

“My daughters, ages 13 and 5, ask me, ‘Why is there so much opposition to the gospel, Dad? Why do they hate Jesus? They hate us because we are Christians?’” Pastor Jogi said with tears in his eyes. “I tell them, ‘They may hate Him, but the Lord still loves them. And, we must love everyone just as our Lord is loving us.’”
 

The pastors prayed after the forced cancellation of the gospel event.
 

“We will conduct the gospel meetings again in May. We are not giving up this time. With permissions from all the authorities and government officials, we will conduct the meetings,” Pastor Jogi said. “The activists are following me wherever I go. I know there is threat to my life. But I have dedicated my life fully to my Lord’s work, and I will be at it till my last breath.”

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, the hostile tone of his National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist BJP, against non-Hindus has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians, religious rights advocates say.

Founder of Nation’s Largest Christian Music Festival Charged with Child Molestation

The charges include one count of aggravated sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault and four counts of endangering the welfare of children.

The founder of Creation Festival — the nation’s largest Christian music festival — has been “indefinitely suspended” from the ministry and his position as pastor of his New Jersey church after he was arrested on charges of child molestation.

Harry L. Thomas, 74, was charged Wednesday (Dec. 6) with sexually assaulting four minors “over a lengthy period of time ending two years ago,” according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. The charges include one count of aggravated sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault and four counts of endangering the welfare of children.

Those alleged assaults occurred over a 16-year period between 1999 and 2015 in Medford Township, N.J., where Thomas lives, according to the prosecutor’s office. His church — Come Alive New Testament Church, which has been described as charismatic — also is in Medford Township.

The prosecutor’s office did not name the victims or detail the assaults, but Come Alive said the allegations are “unrelated” to the pastor’s roles at the church or its ministries, including Creation Festival, according to a post on its website. Its leadership is “actively cooperating” with authorities, it said.

A similar message was posted Friday on the Creation Festival website and Facebook page.

Thomas was criticized previously at a 2014 congressional hearing for his advocacy on behalf of a couple from his church who were accused of starving four foster children, according to New Jersey’s Courier Post.

The former disc jockey-turned-pastor founded Creation Festival in 1979 after he had a vision of “thousands of kids on a hillside,” he told RNS as the festival celebrated its 25th anniversary. It grew from attracting 5,000 people to a park in Lancaster, Pa., that first year, to annual, multi-day events in both Pennsylvania and Washington state.

The two festivals, Creation Northeast and Creation Northwest, draw up to 100,000 attendees a year, according to Christianity Today. Creation Northeast brought more than 75 Christian speakers and musical artists to central Pennsylvania in June 2017, including popular musicians Crowder, Casting Crowns, Relient K, Sho Baraka, TobyMac and For King and Country.

 

Courtesy: Religion News Service

Photo: Pastor Harry Thomas, co-founder of Creation Fest, listens to a speaker in this file photo from 2011.

Photo courtesy: LNP Media Group

America’s Newest ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

This family is believed to be in hiding in Dallas Texas….

Please contact your local law enforcement or ICE [IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT] if you spot this family of four who entered the country legally on Friday December 08, 2017 on a tourist visa arriving at the Philadelphia International Airport but intentionally never arrived at their final destination. They failed to return back to Lagos, Nigeria on 30 December 2017 as scheduled and are now living as illegal immigrants somewhere in the United States. They are alive as confirmed by airport surveillance and have made contact with their family members stating that they are safe. Their names are John Uka Dike and Christiana Uka Dike with two children Melvin Osinachi a 7 year old boy and Mildred Amarachi a 4 year old girl.   The are believed to be in Dallas, Texas with ex-colleagues of Christiana who worked together with her in Fidelity Bank of Lagos, Nigeria or a friend of the husband John in New York.  They are all fluent in English and from Lagos Nigeria and are of the Igbo tribe. John Uka Dike is originally from Elu, Ohafia, West Africa and has a brother who resides in the United States named Mordecai Egwu Uka (Dike). 

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John and Christiana Uka Dike

 

 

 

Federal Judge: Trump Admin Must Allow ‘Transgenders’ to Enlist in Military Beginning Jan. 1

the government must allow the enlistment beginning Jan. 1.

WASHINGTON — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Bill Clinton has issued an order clarifying her recent injunction against the Trump administration’s ban on “transgender” enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces, and has outlined that the government must allow the enlistment beginning Jan. 1.

“[The previous] order was to revert to the status quo with regard to accession and retention that existed before the issuance of the presidential memorandum—that is, the retention and accession policies established in the June 30, 2016 directive-type memorandum as modified by Secretary of Defense James Mattis on June 30, 2017,” wrote U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

“Those policies allowed for the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on January 1, 2018,” she continued. “Any action by any of the defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined.” The Trump administration had asked for clarification about Kollar-Kelly’s October injunction, in which she opined that the ban on transgender enlistment was “causing … serious ongoing harms.” The government noted that Gen. Mattis had been granted time by the president to determine whether or not allowing those who identify as the opposite sex could have any negative impact on military readiness. 

Kollar-Kelly ruled that the policy permitting transgender enlistment, as initially issued under the Obama administration and amended by Mattis, must move forward.

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As previously reported, Trump announced his decision to reinstate the ban on transgenders in the military in July, advising that the issue is a distraction and would place a burden on the finances of the Armed Forces.

“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” he tweeted. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgenders in the military would entail. Thank you.” 

Weeks later, five service members filed suit to challenge the ban, with the assistance of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders.

“Because they identified themselves as transgender in reliance on [the government’s] earlier promise [of lifting the ban], Plaintiffs have lost the stability and certainty they had in their careers and benefits, including post-military and retirement benefits that depend on the length of their service,” the lawsuit read.

Kollar-Kotelly issued an injunction in favor of the complainants in October, writing in part, “On the record before the court, there is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all. In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects.”

After the government sought clarification on whether or not her order “prohibit[s] the secretary of defense from exercising his discretion to defer the January 1, 2018 effective date,” Kollar-Kotelly advised that there could be no postponement.

On Nov. 21, a second federal judge issued an injunction against the enlistment ban. U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis, appointed to the bench by then-President George H.W. Bush wrote that the “capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified tweet of new policy does not trump the methodical and systematic review by military stakeholders qualified to understand the ramifications of policy change.”

~ Originally written by Heather Clark

Christian school teacher charged with 84 counts of sexual abuse

Fifth grade teacher Curtis Van Dam, 35, of Sioux Center Christian School in northwest Iowa, US, is accused of abusing an unknown number of pupils from the school between August 2013 and October 2017….

A total of 140 charges have been made against Sioux Center Christian School teacher Curtis Van Dam, dating back to August 2013.

On November 11, 2017 a teacher from a Christian school has been charged with 84 separate counts of sexual abuse after it was claimed he abused students over a four year period.A statement published by the school reads: “We have been told from the beginning that additional charges for a former teacher at Sioux Center Christian would be coming.

Fifth grade teacher Curtis Van Dam, 35, of Sioux Center Christian School in northwest Iowa, US, is accused of abusing an unknown number of pupils from the school between August 2013 and October 2017.

Authorities say charges were filed after a complaint was lodged with police on 18 October, alleging inappropriate conduct between the teacher and a pupil at the school.  But since the original allegations were made 140 separate charges have been filed, including 14 counts of sexual exploitation by a teacher.

“Today, Mr. Curt Van Dam, was charged with 101 felonies and 39 misdemeanors.

 

“On Oct 18, within hours of hearing a complaint, school officials removed Mr Van Dam from the school and immediately contacted authorities. His employment was terminated on Oct 19 and we have been in full cooperation with civil authorities since.

“We’ve wept, now it’s time to weep again. We’ve prayed, now we need to continue praying. We’ve brought our anger and fears to the Lord, and now we need to lay those feelings again at His feet,” the statement read.  

School Administrative Assistant Cheryl Haan told Newsweek that the exact number of students affected by the allegations is still unknown. 

“This case is in the hands of our criminal justice system and we trust that justice will be served. Though the number of charges do not necessarily reflect the number of students, we are grieved again as we hear the extent of the charges. 

The statement also offered reassurance to parents and children: “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.

“Please know that thousands are lifting you before the throne of your Father in heaven…. Trust Him to restore you completely.

“Our focus at Sioux Center Christian continues to be the Christ-centered education of our students, while also providing daily support and guidance to students as needed through their teachers and professional counselors.”

Mr Van Dam has been charged with 14 counts of Sexual Exploitation by a Teacher; 72 counts of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degreee; 12 counts of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd Degree; 2 counts of Lascivious Acts With a Child; 1 count of Lascivious Acts with a Child; 34 counts of Lascivious Conduct with a Minor and 1 count of Indecent Exposure.

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 Curtis Van Dam, 35, is said to have been accused of up to 140 sex related crimes at the Sioux Center Christian School in Iowa. The exact number of children affected is still unknown. Sioux Center Police

Mr Van Dam is currently being detained in Sioux County Jail and is awaiting trial.

A tweet sent from the school’s official Twitter account appeared to offer a form where students and parents could sign up to therapy sessions with a school pastor, although the form is now “no longer accepting responses”.