Accused minister worked at Union and Owasso schools

January 15, 2009

KTUL News Channel 8

reporter: Burt Mummolo

producer: Kerri Gift

OWASSO -- Owasso Police continue to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by a 23-year-old youth minister.

The alleged assault on a teenage boy did not take place on church property.

NewsChannel 8 has learned the man had a part time job as a substitute teacher.

At Union he had substituted six times this year from grades 6-12.

In Owasso, he had substituted 19 times through grades 8 and under.

So far, neither school has had any students come forward reporting any similar incidents.

And at this time, both schools are unsure whether or not letters will be sent home to parents with kids, who were in the substitute's classes, once charges have been filed.

Meanwhile, at Central Baptist Church, the pastor says the church has multiple safeguards in place to prevent just this type of incident.

"We have policies that you're never to be alone with a teenager ever. And this thing that's come out would have never taken place, if the policies had been followed," says Pastor Scott Carlson.

Church workers must also go through a background check, and cannot work with kids until at least six months of employment.

Pastor Carlson took the suspect to the police station after the allegations surfaced.

The congregation is grappling with a simple question. "Why?" says Carlson.

"If this happened, it wasn't a mistake. It was a choice. We're all responsible for the choices we make."

Pastor Carlson is preaching transparency during this difficult time. "When the truth comes out, the healing can begin to take place."

Owasso Police are still looking for information in this case. If you know anything about this case or any other alleged abuse, the number to call is 272-COPS.

See also:

Former Owasso church staff member arrested on sex abuse charge, Tulsa World, 1/29/2009

SNAP Note: Central Baptist Church in Owasso, OK, is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.