After Meeting with Church Leaders, Youth Pastor Resigns
March 24, 2016
A Boone pastor has resigned after meeting with church leaders about allegations from a former member of the church's youth group.
The pastor has not been criminally charged in connection with the case, but Ames police told KCCI that they are actively investigating what was reported to them and looking for him.
Police said that on Monday a 19-year-old woman came forward about her relationship with Grace Community Church's Youth Pastor Joel Waltz.
"We believe the misconduct happened over a several year time period. We believe the victim was a minor when some of the acts occurred," said Ames police spokesman Commander Jason Tuttle.
The girl, whose name has not been released, also reportedly described the relationship in detail to church leaders, saying it started when she was in youth group and continued after she graduated.
Ames police went to Waltz's home in Boone Wednesday morning, but he wasn't home.
Authorities said they're following a lot of leads in the case.
"When someone has influence and control over someone, if they're in a position of authority over them when this type of conduct happens, it makes it even more difficult for the victim and sometimes more difficult to investigate too," said Tuttle.
Grace Community Church leaders declined to talk to KCCI. An email was sent to church members that said in part, "Of course we as Elders are deeply saddened by these events. It is our intention to provide support and counseling to the young lady involved and ask that you do not ask nor speculate as to her identity."
The case remains under investigation.