UPDATE: Pastor arrested in Marion prostitution sting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Pastor arrested in Marion prostitution sting

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Nine people were arrested in what Marion Police are calling a reverse prostitution sting, including a Cedar Rapids pastor.

The Marion Police Department and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation placed online sexual advertisements. Police say they received responses to the ads by phone, text message and email.

Officers made arrangements to meet in person. Nine men were arrested after police say they offered money in exchange for a sex act with an undercover officer.

Among those arrested was 41-year-old Jonathan Offt of Cedar Rapids. Offt was the Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, but as of Monday afternoon, his name had been removed from the church's website. The church posted this statement:

"Trinity Lutheran Church and School is saddened by the most recent news story regarding Jonathan Offt. The proper authorities are handling the situation. The church and school request your prayers for all involved. We have no further comments at this time."

Offt and the following men were charged with Prostitution:

  • Daniel Gingerich, 37, of Marengo
  • Ronald Coleman, 40, of Robins
  • Joseph Burke, 57, of Cedar Rapids
  • Michael Romanowski, 67, of Iowa City
  • Steven Van Nevel, 53, of Brooklyn
  • Gregory Stroyls, 40, of Marion
  • Donald Wedewer, 53, of Earlville
  • Keith Myers, 50, of Cedar Rapids

The men were released until their court appearances.

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