Davenport minister charged with sexual abuse of juveniles

by Anthony Watt

Quad-Cities Online

August 16, 2010

A Quad-Cities minister has been accused of sex crimes.

Terry Vanhoutan, 49, Davenport is accused of several counts, including sexual abuse, according to Davenport and Scott County authorities. He was being held Monday in the Scott County Jail on a $55,000 bond.

Investigators allege Mr. Vanhoutan abused two juveniles for years--up to about three weeks ago.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Vanhoutan was operating a ministry out of the First Baptist Church, Bettendorf, Dave Barrington, the chair of deacons for First Baptist, said Monday.

It was an adult ministry called Celebrate Recovery that helped people deal with addictions, Mr. Barrington said.

"He did good work, people in his ministry are stunned," Mr. Barrington said.

He said he has known Mr. Vanhoutan for several years and said Mr. Vanhoutan was the last person Mr. Barrington would suspect of doing something.

Mr. Vanhoutan has worked with the homeless and jail inmates in the Quad-Cities, helping countless people, Mr. Barrington said.

"He would go out on the street and find people and get them to the right places," Mr. Barrington said.

The congregations is devastated by the accusations, Mr. Barrington said.

For anyone working with children, there is usually a background check, he said. But he had known Mr. Vanhoutan for some time and the program was for adults, so one was not done in Mr. Vanhoutan's case.

There had been no reports or accusations Monday afternoon that Mr. Vanhoutan had inappropriate contact with members of the congregation, he said.

Mr. Vanhoutan has a court dated scheduled for today in which further court dates will be set up through his attorney.


SBP Note: First Baptist Church in Bettendorf is shown as a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.