SIOUX CENTER | An elementary teacher at Sioux Center Christian School arrested last month for committing a lascivious act with a student at the school has been charged with an additional 84 counts of sexual abuse involving "numerous" children, police said Wednesday.
Curtis Van Dam, 35, of Sioux Center, was arrested Oct. 23 after a complaint was lodged against him five days earlier for inappropriate conduct with a student.
SIOUX CENTER | A teacher at Sioux Center Christian School was arrested Monday after police s…
The latest charges are tied to incidents that occurred over a four-year period, between August 2013 and last month. Van Dam now faces 101 felonies and 39 misdemeanors.
The felonies include 72 counts of second-degree 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 alleged acts took place at various locations, including the private school, the release said.
Police Chief Paul Adkins said the investigation is continuing, and additional charges are possible. Adkins declined to identify the number of alleged victims or their ages.
Van Dam, a fifth-grade teacher at the school, was fired following his arrest last month.
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Police searched Van Dam's residence on Oct. 21, two days before his arrest. He is booked into the Sioux County Jail.
Van Dam started teaching at the school after he graduated from Dordt College in 2004.
Sioux Center Christian School was founded in 1905. According to the school's website, the school has 509 students in grades K-8 for the 2017-18 school year.
In a statement, the school said it removed Van Dam from the school immediately after hearing the initial complaint and terminated him on Oct. 19. The case, the school said, is now "in the hands of our criminal justice system and we trust that justice will be served.
"Though the number of charges do not necessarily reflect the number of students, we are grieved again as we hear the extent of the charges," the school said in the statement. "We’ve wept, now it’s time to weep again. We’ve prayed, now we need to continue praying. We’ve brought our anger and fears to the Lord, and now we need to lay those feelings again at His feet."
The school also encouraged students and their parents to contact authorities if they have more information regarding Van Dam.
"If this news especially hurts because you have suffered or are suffering abuse, we encourage you to bring it out of the realm of secrecy, so that it loses its powerful grip on you. We encourage you to talk to a professional Christian counselor," the statement said.
The school said it is providing "daily support and guidance to students as needed through their teachers and professional counselors."