Monday, February 28, 2011

Youth pastor Steward Newman charged

StewartNewmanYouth pastor Steward Newman was changed with additional child molestation charges in Pottawattamie County, Nebraska. He’s already been arrested for possession of child pornography and child molestation in another county and is looking at life in prison. He allegedly started molesting a girl when she was as young as 6 up until the age of 10.

The police report lists Newman as working in the children's ministry of King of Kings Lutheran Church, but Newman said he doesn't work there.

He said that he and his wife are directors of a youth ministry called Presenting Arts through Him that meets at King of Kings.

The church's director of ministry operations, Ken Jaspersen, said Newman's involvement with the church was indirect.

This case brings up an interesting twist on the whole clergy sexual abuse situation. If an independent ministry is operating out of an established church, what responsibility does the church have to make sure they are providing an environment that is safe for children? Judging by the response from Kings Lutheran Church, they think they don’t have any responsibility.