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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa | A former Sioux Center Christian School elementary teacher charged with more than 100 counts of sexual abuse touched the genitals of at least one child multiple times and solicited at least one student to engage in a sex act, according to court records.

Curtis Van Dam, 36, also is accused of exposing himself to at least one child and persuading at least one minor to disrobe multiple times, according to the documents.

Police filed with the courts 40 pages of affidavits based on interviews with the alleged victims at the Child Advocacy Center in Sioux City. The affidavits do not make clear how many students lodged complaints against the teacher or the gender of the victims.

Sioux Center Police Chief Paul Adkins has declined to identify the number of victims, other than to describe them as "numerous." He said the investigation continues and additional charges are possible.

Van Dam, who taught at the private school for nine years, faces 101 felonies and 39 misdemeanors as the result of an investigation that began Oct. 18 after school officials received a complaint of inappropriate conduct by Van Dam with a student. Additional charges were filed earlier this week. The alleged abuse occurred over a more than four-year period, beginning Aug. 23, 2014. The most recent accusation of sexual exploitation was documented on Oct. 17, a day before the complaint against Van Dam was reported.

According to the affidavits, some of his alleged acts include:

-- Touched the genitals of a child under age 12 twice a week for 10 weeks, from Feb. 1, 2016 through April 22, 2016.

-- Caused a child under 12 to touch his genitals, from Feb. 1, 2016 through April 22, 2016.

-- While in a position of authority, persuaded a minor to disrobe or partially disrobe once a week for six weeks, from Nov. 7, 2016 through Dec. 22, 2016.

-- Exposed himself to a child on more than one occasion.

-- Solicited a child to engage in a sex act from Oct. 31, 2016 through May, 19, 2017.

Police said the alleged crimes took place at various locations, including the school at 630 First Ave. School officials said Van Dam was removed from the school immediately after the first complaint was filed, and was later terminated.

Van Dam started teaching at the school after he graduated from Dordt College in 2004.

Van Dam, who was arrested Oct. 23, is being held in the Sioux County Jail. He faces 72 counts of second-degree sexual abuse, 12 counts of third-degree sexual abuse, 14 counts of sexual exploitation by a teacher, and three counts of lascivious acts with a child.

The school said it is a providing daily support and guidance to students as needed through teachers and professional counselors. A group session for parents was held Wednesday at the school. Another session for parents and 5-8 grade students is scheduled for Nov. 15.

Sioux Center Christian School was founded in 1905. The school has 509 students in grades K-8 for the 2017-18 school year, according to its website.


Crime and general assignment reporter

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