Pastor speaks out after a church youth leader is accused of sex - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pastor speaks out after a church youth leader is accused of sex abuse

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Benjamin Tweedt was a youth leader and mentor for several years at Parkview Church in Iowa City. Benjamin Tweedt was a youth leader and mentor for several years at Parkview Church in Iowa City.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

We are hearing from the pastor of an area church where a former youth leader is facing several charges including Sexual Abuse. 

32-year-old Benjamin Tweedt of North Liberty is accused of inappropriately touching several children. 

Many parents trusted Tweedt as a mentor for their kids. 

Tweedt was immediately removed from student ministries at Parkview Church in Iowa City when they became aware of the accusations. 

The alleged sexual contact took place during one-on-one mentoring sessions between Tweedt and four different victims. 

Lead Pastor Doug Schillinger broke the news to his congregation, first learning of the allegations in February. 

"I had so many you know women in particular just thank me that we took it serious, we made a bold statement and we identified the person by name," he told us. 

The accusations span from 2006 to 2013, involving children around 13-years-old. 

 "We've got policies in place for our leaders, for our volunteers that we go through with them every year, they sign off, they agree, we do background checks," says Pastor Schillinger. 
 "It's just deeply troubling that despite those things this can happen," he added. 

North Liberty Police Chief Diane Venenga says one person came forward in February and then as they were investigating three more victims became known. 

Police aren't sure if there are more victims out there at this point, they say if anyone has any information to share to call them at 319-626-5724. 

 "We care deeply for the families and students involved and just encourage people to pray for everybody involved," Pastor Schillinger says.

According to the criminal complaints the crimes took place inside homes with the exception of one which allegedly took place during a church retreat. 

In one case Tweedt is accused of touching a boy in the boy's bedroom. 

Another case accuses Tweedt of cuddling a boy on a couch as well as giving him an inappropriate massage. 

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