Saturday, November 10, 2001
charges of sexual assault, indecency with a child
FORT WORTH (AP) - A
former North Texas pastor has been indicted on counts of sexual
assault and indecency with three children, and police say
allegations against the man go back at least 10 years.
Evidence collected at
Jon Warnshuis' house in Argyle has led to accusations that he
sexually abused at least five boys in Argyle, Grapevine and Laredo,
On Thursday, a Denton
County grand jury returned three indictments against Warnshuis, 41,
alleging two counts of indecency with a child, eight counts of
sexual assault and four counts of aggravated sexual assault,
District Attorney Bruce Isaacks said.
Argyle Police Chief
William Tackett said the indictments involve three children at Oak
Hills Evangelical Free Community Church near Argyle, where Warnshuis
was pastor for four years.
Warnshuis, who has
declined to be interviewed, is in Denton County Jail with bail set
An investigation of
Warnshuis' past reveals an on-again, off-again minister exiled from
churches and Dallas Theological Seminary because of his sexual
behavior with children, documents obtained by the Fort Worth
In the mid-1980s,
Warnshuis moved from California to Texas, where he worked toward a
master's degree in divinity from Dallas Theological Seminary,
officials have said.
Warnshuis was to have
graduated in 1988, but allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior
led to his expulsion, Donald Campbell, president emeritus of the
seminary, has said.
After leaving the
seminary, Warnshuis was treated by a clinical psychologist in
Richardson, according to court documents. Campbell has said that
Warnshuis was allowed to return to the seminary and graduated in
But neither Warnshuis'
history of counseling nor his expulsion from seminary were mentioned
to officials of Oak Hills Evangelical Free Community Church, where
he was hired as interim pastor in 1996.
"While school policy
prohibits recommending any student to churches looking for pastors
and staff, the alumni office regularly responds to requests for
alumni resumes filed in our placement system," the seminary said in
a statement released Friday. "Not only was Jon Warnshuis not in the
placement system, according to placement office logs, which note
every query, no church or person _ including Oak Hills Evangelical
Free Community Church _ ever called to inquire about
A year later, Warnshuis
was promoted to senior pastor. He was fired just before being
arrested in August.
Last summer, he took a
church mission trip to Laredo, where he came into contact with an
11-year-old who says he was sexually assaulted, police
On Oct. 25, Grapevine
police filed probable cause warrants against Warnshuis alleging
aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault of a child.
Police are also
investigating accusations of sexual assault of boys at a church that
Warnshuis attended in the early 1980s in Escondido,
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Copyright ©2001, Abilene
Reporter-News / Texnews / E.W. Scripps Publications