UPDATED AS OF AUGUST 2003
Unidentified clergyman in Norway defends himself by accusing boys of pestering him to provide pornography to them and pulling their pants down for him. Criminal defendants in Norway are not identified by name. (Nordlys, April 30, 2003)
Clergyman says boredom led him to child porn
Athens, GA. Ralph Tulk, 63, was arrested Tuesday and charged with five counts of child molestation for allegedly inappropriately touching five children at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church over several years. He was superintendent of the Sunday school program when some of the alleged molestations took place and was treasurer of the church until last month, according to police and the church. Dickerson and many other residents of this Northeast Georgia city -- most of whom were willing to share their thoughts about the case but not be quoted -- said they worry about the church, but aren't yet convinced of the allegations. "This is America, and you are innocent until proven guilty," Dickerson said. (MSNBC.com, Jan. 11, 2003)
Town reacts to molestation charges
LINCOLN, NE. Three lawsuits have been filed against a Lutheran church school for alleged sexual abuse by former officials, including a minister who served as principal. The lawsuits against St. John Lutheran Church in Seward seek millions of dollars for the alleged abuse. The Lincoln Journal Star reported in Saturday's editions that two lawsuits were filed in Lancaster County District Court on Friday by unnamed plaintiffs who alleged they were abused by longtime principal David Mannigel. Mannigel, a Lutheran minister, apparently killed himself last year. (ABC News, November 2, 2002)
Lutheran Church sued over abuse by Pastor Mannigel
LINCOLN, NE— Three lawsuits have been filed against a Lutheran church school for alleged sexual abuse by former officials, including a minister who served as principal. The lawsuits against St. John Lutheran Church in Seward seek millions of dollars for the alleged abuse. The other lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Lincoln on Wednesday by T. Mark Kraft, a Colorado man, for claims of abuse by retired teacher Arlen Meyer. That lawsuit seeks $1 million. (ABC News, November 2, 2002)
Lutheran Church sued over abuse by Pastor Meyer
ST. PETERSBURG, FL. A recently retired Lutheran pastor may no longer minister in any capacity in the wake of allegations of inappropriate behavior with female parishioners, his bishop said. About the same time the Rev. Bruce Wilder left his 400-member congregation in March, multiple female church members came forward with accusations, said Bishop Edward R. Benoway of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. An allegation concerning a girl was passed on the to St. Petersburg Police Department which is investigating, Benoway said Friday. (Naples Daily News, May 26, 2002)
Retired Lutheran pastor accused of inappropriate behavior
Encinitas, CA. Michael Skoor, 55, and a former pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach, is accused of molesting the boy and his younger brother, both of whom are elementary school age. He has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts, including committing a lewd act on a child, showing pornography to a minor and burglary. He remains jailed on $2 million bail pending a July 8 trial date. Skoor faces a possible 40 years to life sentence in prison if convicted on all counts. (04/23/2002, The North County Times)
Former pastor to stand trial on molest charges
Former Paster jailed for committing a lewd act on a child
MARSHALL. TX. (AP) - A civil lawsuit claims a former Lutheran minister molested eight boys over several years and that his actions should have been halted by church leaders. The lawsuit, filed Feb. 12 in state district court, names former Evangelical Lutheran minister Gerald Patrick Thomas Jr., the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and several other church-related organizations as defendants. Thomas, who resigned from the denomination's clergy roster about a year ago, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. A spokesman for the ELCA said the church will present its case in court, not in the media. (AP, March 20, 2002)
Lutheran church officials, ex-pastor named in suit (http://www.amarillonet.com/stories/032002/tex_insuit.shtml)
Abuse by Clergy Is Not Just a Catholic Problem (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/13/national/13LUTH.html)
HOOPMAN Pastor David Bertrand, 73 Toowoomba Lutheran pastor, student counsellor and school chaplain. Appears in Brisbane District Court on 6 charges of indecent dealing with girl, aged under 16, while student counsellor and school chaplain at Concordia Memorial College between 1979 and 1981. Court hears Hoopman assaulted victim in school library and other places and once told girl it was best if no one knew about it "except God, him and her". (Queensland, Australia, 2002).
Westwood, OH. Phillip Dumke, pastor of Westwood Grace Lutheran Church, has been indicted on four counts of "gross sexual imposition." Dumke befriended the two sons of a widow and molested them. He received five years probation. (01.11.01, Cincinnati Post)
Minister accused of fondling
SAN JOSE — A former Newark pastor convicted of molesting a mildly retarded teenager should not go to prison because he did not intend to harm the boy, the man’s lawyer told a judge. Calling Howard DePorte’s actions “horribly misguided,” his attorney said the popular religious leader instead should be placed on probation and undergo intensive therapy. A County Superior Court judge granted the request to send DePorte for an evaluation by the state Dept. of Corrections before his sentencing.
DePorte, 44 — who still enjoys popularity with many of his former parishioners — has admitted to engaging in sexual activities with the boy, then 15. During his trial, DePorte contended he had masturbated in his church office with the victim as part of a lesson on sex.
DePorte was found guilty of sexual battery and committing lewd and lascivious acts with a minor. He was acquitted of several more serious charges. Mercury News 4/29/2000
EDITOR: Howard DePorte is apparently now a gay buddist Howards poem from prison at the bottom of this page and Howard is quoted here as a paster of a gay Lutheran Church before the molestation
Seattle, WA. Judge Huggins sentenced Dean Suess, 47, to almost 10 years in prison for three counts of second-degree child molestation and four counts of third-degree child molestation. The sentence, at the high end of the standard range, was recommended by prosecutors after Suess pleaded guilty Jan. 14. Suess, a Boy Scout volunteer, was the minister of music at a Lutheran church in Bothell at the time of his arrest, and held a doctorate in liturgy (Feb. 19, 2000; SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER)
Lutheran minister from Bothell sentenced
Seattle Newspaper Report
ST. PETERSBURG, FL. - Pastor Conny Sjostrom told some of the women he counseled for alcohol and substance abuse problems that they were special. Kerry Fitzgerald wanted to hear those words and said she trusted a man of the cloth to help her through the toughest battle of her life.
Now Fitzgerald, who went to Sjostrom for help in overcoming her alcoholism, is suing him, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, of Chicago, and the Florida-Bahama Synod, its local governing body.
In a civil trial in circuit court, Fitzgerald said that Sjostrom took advantage of her sexually during counseling sessions in his Fort Lauderdale office and at her home. Her lawyers say the church failed to supervise Sjostrom adequately and ignored warnings from other women, including one of his former wives, that he used his clerical collar to gain their trust and then had sexual contact with them. Sun-Sentinel 4/27/99
ROCKFORD, IL. - Roald Hasley, a retired bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has resigned from the clergy a week after he was stripped of his duties amid allegations of sexual misconduct. 4 women claimed he engaged in improper sexual conduct while he was a bishop, church officials said. Daily Herald, 5/29/99
BATON ROUGE - A local minister was booked into jail in connection with a sex sting, records show.
According to an arrest warrant, Rev. Alfred Prellop, 61, was arrested after allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover Sheriff's Office deputy, but was not booked that day because the jail was full. Prellop, a minister at Trinity Lutheran Church for the last 28 years, said he would not comment publicly on his arrest. More than a dozen other men were arrested in the three-day sting operation. 10/28/99
EAU CLAIRE, WI. - A Lutheran pastor accused of offering to pay male students from Panama if they allowed him to watch sex acts with women now faces felony charges of bail jumping for mailing letters to two victims. Rev. Richard Kittilstad, 50, had been charged in Nov. with 6 counts of soliciting prostitution involving 5 Panamanian men he had sponsored to live with him and attend classes at a technical school. None of the men took him up on his offer.
One of his congregations has put him on a paid leave of absence but he is still allowed to preach for the other until the legal issues are resolved. (3/13/98)
EDITOR: Rev. Kittilstad loses his appeal
After the abuse, Rev. Kittilstad developed a plan to provide "values instruction" for kindergarten through 12th-grade students, at St. Paul Lutheran, Augusta, Wis.
EMBARRASS, MN. - The former pastor of a Lutheran church here and in Pike pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two boys between 1987 and 1997. Rev. James Holmgren, 46, entered his plea of guilty to one count each of first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct just two hours before his trial was to start.
Three felony charges were filed against him in late June 1997 accusing him of abusing a boy from 1987 to 1989. A complaint filed in July said holmgren admitted to investigators that he abused a second juvenile from 1994 to about Feb. 1997. Sentencing was set for March 3. (1/14/98)
EDITOR: James Holmgren is back pastoring ast his church as of April 2002: EMBARRASS EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH,The Rev. James Holmgren "SUNDAY -- Sunday School at 10:30 a.m., Worship Services at 11:00 a.m., followed by Fellowship." (from http://www.lakevermilionchamber.com/clubs_and_organizations/)
EMBARRASS, MN. - The former pastor of the Embarrass-Pike Evangelical Lutheran Church has been charged with several counts of sexually assaulting a male youth. Rev. James Eric Holmgren, 46, resigned as pastor last month. The criminal complaint said the assaults against the boy, now 25, occurred at the church, the pastor's home and in a car. (7/16/97)
QUINCY, MA. Lutheran minister Frederick W. Chapman, 70, has been arrested and charged with forcible rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. The abuse was reported to have begun when the youth was 13. Chapman is accused of repeatedly molesting the boy twice a week over the course of a year. Allegations arose after a failed attempt by the victim to blackmail the ex-minister, said Chapman's attorney. Chapman faced a similar accusation in New York in '77. He was charged with having sexual contact with a child under 17, acting to harm a child and endangering the welfare of a child. Chapman pleaded guilty in the case to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, but was not placed on probation nor did he serve any time in jail. At the time of the newly alleged assaults, Chapman was on probation for molesting a girl, 8, in Milton, NY in '94. Chapman had admitted to sufficient facts to warrant a guilty finding for indecently assaulting the Milton girl. (The Patriot Ledger 8/9/95)
Gwinnett, GA. A former church music minister was arrested Monday on charges that he improperly touched a boy, Gwinnett County police records show. Cecil Gray "Trey" Clegg III, 24, of Lawrenceville, was charged with one count of sexual battery, records show. Clegg was accused of improperly touching an 11-year-old boy sometime between last Oct. 1 and Nov. 23 at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, 3305 U.S. 29, according to police. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 01-24-1995)
One-time music minister charged with sex offense
Menomenee Falls, WI. An instructor at Pembine Bible camp and Grace Evangelical Lutheran church in Menomenee Falls, Fritz A. Callies, 61, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for sexually assaulting 2 girls, ages 9 and 10. Over a dozen women have come forward saying Callies abused them as girls. He was investigated in 1978 for sex crimes, but was not charged. Source: Kenosha News, 7/17/94
LUTHERAN MINISTER ADMITS PAST MOLESTATIONS. Criminally charged with sexually abusing 2 boys, aged 12, Rev. Daniel Seedorf, 36, admitted being accused of fondling another boy while a pastor in southern Illinois. Seedorf, now part-time pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, was restricted from acting as pastor by the Lutheran Church's Missouri Synod. Sources: _Chicago Sun-Times_ 4/27/94, _Chicago Tribune 4/27/94.
LUTHERAN PASTOR IMPREGNATES VICTIM. Lutheran pastor, Russell Tessman, 40, was sentenced to 2 years probation for the sexual exploitation and impregnation of Carla Vetters while he counseled her between Dec. 1990 and July 1993. He faced a maximum of 2 years in prison. Following his jury conviction he was ordered to pay $500 fines plus a 30% surcharge and court costs. Source: _Des Moines Register_ 3/23/94, 4/10/94.
Lutheran Minister ACCUSES 13-YEAR-OLD BOY OF "SEDUCTION". A jury found in favor of plaintiff David Samarzia, 40, who filed a lawsuit against Rev. Daniel Reeb, 58, for sexually abusing him from 1965-68. Also named was the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Although Reeb admitted the abuse to an attorney, other defendants in the case denied any abuse and claimed that if it had occurred, it was Samarzia's fault. Reeb claimed the sexual relations were not molestation and that Samarzia, then 13, seduced him, then 32. Other testimony accused Reeb of masturbating in front of a confirmation class. The jury ruled that the church was partially responsible for Reeb's misconduct and must pay $643,800 to Samarzia. Three other men have filed suit against Reeb for sexual abuse spanning 11 of Reeb's 18 years at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Duluth. Sources: _Duluth News-Tribune_ 3/29/94, 4/10,13,14/94; AP/_Leader-Telegram_ 4/13/94.
LUTHERAN COUNSELOR NABBED. St. Paul Lutheran Church youth counselor John Wayne Nase, 40, Phoenix, was accused of multiple counts of child molesting, sexual conduct with a minor & kidnapping. Police say he ordered a boy, 12, into the choir loft & performed sex acts on him after Nase's Sunday confirmation classes. Source: _Arizona Republic_ 7/21/92.
REDEEMER CHURCH SETTLES SUIT. Redeemer Lutheran Church, Redwood City, made a secret settlement to a victim of youth counselor James A. Weller, who had sought $25,000. The victim said the pastor and other church officials interrupted Weller when he was molesting the victim, then 13, but failed to report it. Weller had been dishonorably discharged from the Navy for sexual molestation and had a record when he was hired by the church. He was convicted in 1990 of 27 counts of sex crimes against 4 boys and a girl, including oral sex, rape and pornography. He is serving a 4-year prison sentence. Source: _Redwood City Tribune_ 5/19/92.
LUTHERAN PASTOR CONFESSES TO 13 YEARS OF CRIMES. The 500 members of Christ Lutheran church in Palatine were sent a letter informing them that Rev. Wayne Tellekson has confessed to sexual misconduct while he was pastor from 1975 to 1988. He was removed from his current St. Paul, Minn. church when a former victim confronted Tellekson. Source: _Chicago Sun-Times_ 1/15/93.
LUTHERAN PASTOR NABBED. Dirk van der Linde, 43, pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Waterloo, was charged with intent to commit sexual abuse of a boy, 14. He is affiliated with the Missouri Synod. Relatives complained about a 2 month delay in arresting him. An aunt said she believed the delay stemmed from racism, because the victim is black & the minister white. "It would not be this way if it had been a black minister molesting a white child," she said. Source: _Waterloo Courier_ 9/23/92, _Des Moines Register_ 9/24/92.
EDITOR: Dirk van der Linde is still preaching for Lutherans - http://www.cat41.org/CLiMB/Archives/MissionAgencies/BMS/BMS%202000%20Trip%20Update.txt
LUTHERAN MINISTER REMOVED. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America removed Rev. Wendell Henkenmeier of Marblehead from the ministry after a panel found him guilty of sexual misconduct & destructive practices during counseling of 5 victims. Source: _Union-News_ 5/30/92.
LUTHERAN LEADER ADMITS CHARGES. Lutheran pastor David L. Anderson admitted having sexual relations with a number of boys and young men while pastor of a leading Lutheran congregation in Moorehead, Minn. He resigned from the clergy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and as vice president for college relations in St. Olaf College in April, admitting sexual misconduct with minors, college students, and male parishioners from 1973-1985. He confessed only after a parishioner approached a staff member at the 4,000 member church with allegations in March. Source: _Star Tribune_ 4/20/92.
LUTHERAN PASTOR RESIGNS. For the third time Rev. Rod Broding has left a job after being accused of sexual improprieties. The Lutheran pastor resigned from First Lutheran Church in Pine River following accusations he admitted to sexual misconduct there, but denies earlier accusations. Bishop Roger Munson, who oversees the Northeastern Minnesota synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said, "The church will assist in providing counseling to work through this turmoil & pain so that healing & wholeness can be experienced in their lives." Source: _Star Tribune_ 10/22/92.
LUTHERAN PRINCIPAL ACCUSED. Denying charges of indecent liberties with a student is John P. Rossow, who resigned in March as principal of Central Lutheran Christian School, Tacoma. Now a senior, the youth said Russow took him on outings and French kissed him for hours when he was a 5th grader, and tried to masturbate him at a state park after plying him with whiskey. A teenager said, "He had kids at his house a lot." Source: _Morning News Tribune_ 4/8/92.
"NOT A TIME FOR JUDGMENT." The arrest of Brookfield minister Richard O. Bidwell for lewd & lascivious conduct is "not a time for judgment" but "a time when we in the Christian community need to offer our support & our prayers," opines Rev. Kenneth Wheeler, an official with the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bidwell, pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church, married with children, was arrested at a park in the afternoon with his genitals exposed, in the company of another exposed man. Source: _Milwaukee Sentinel_ 7/14/92.
LUTHERAN TEACHER CHARGED. Arrested for sexually assaulting boys at John Calvin Christian School in Burlington, Ontario is Theodore Richard Vanderveen, 30, who taught 4th grade for 4 years. Source: _Spectator_ 3/2/92.
LUTHERAN TEACHER CHARGED. St. Paul's Lutheran elementary school teacher Gerald J. Bauer, Jr., 31, was charged with molesting a student, 12, during a visit to his home. The Farmington Hills teacher was charged with 1st and 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct. Source: _Detroit Free Press_ 2/13/93.
MOLESTER STILL LISTED IN CHURCH ANNUAL. A Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastor who admitted to sexually molesting a Duluth boy and who is being sued for molestation by 3 others, is still listed as a pastor in good standing in the synod's 1993 Lutheran Annual. Rev. Daniel Reeb admitted in 1991 that he molested a parishioner, 13, several times in the 1960s, and made official testimony about it to church officials. His victim and several others have filed lawsuits. Reeb resigned a year ago, but was put on "restricted status" and can still preach. He moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Source: _News-Tribune_ 3/3/93.
Reeb loses appeal of criminal conviction
LUTHERAN PASTOR ADMITS SEX WITH BOY. Cloquet pastor Wayne Vetter of Zion Lutheran Church pleaded guilty to 1st degree criminal sexual contact with a juvenile. He is in counseling for sexual abuse and is expected to be sentenced to a correctional center. He served ministries in Madison, Wis., and Grand Forks, N.D. A man came forward to say Vetter had molested him in Grand Forks, but the statute of limitations has expired. Vetter admitted to a habit of anonymous Sex in public places. Source: _Duluth News-Tribune_3/19/93.
JAMES ALLEN WELLER, 31, a day care teacher and youth counselor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Redwood City, CA, was booked on 20 counts of child molestation, oral copulation, sexual battery and child exploitation. A counselor in another state contacted police after a boy reported being abused by Weller. Boys ages 13 to 17 told police he paid or tricked them into posing for pornographic photographs over the last 3 years. Weller was also a Boy Scout leader and coached a youth basketball team at the church. Church officials hired him even though they knew he was a convicted felon who had served 6 years in prison for bank fraud, and was on parole. (San Jose Mercury News, 12/2/89)
Lutheran church settles: The Redwood City Tribune reported that a local Lutheran church made a secret settlement to a victim of the church’s youth counselor. The counselor was convicted in 1990 of 27 counts of sex crimes against 4 boys and a girl, including oral sex, rape and pornography. He is serving a 4-year prison sentence.
A 16 year old Nashville boy filed a civil lawsuit charging that he was not only sexually assaulted at a children's camp but that others conspired to silence him. The boy had been recruited to work at the camp by Rev. Ron Teed, Family of Faith Lutheran Church. Following an assault by the minister, the complainant said he sought safety and protection from another counselor, who detained him on behalf of the minister. The boy reported that he was then subjected to an all-night meeting alone with his assailant. (Source: Tennesseean, 6/4/87)