Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse Tried to Contact Alleged Victim; Bond Increased

By Karen Heinselman
The Courier
September 16, 2010

Timothy Parker is escorted from court by Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher after a brief appearance Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. Parker, a Lutheran pastor, is charged with third-degree sex abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a child.

WEST UNION, Iowa --- A district judge on Wednesday increased the bond for a pastor accused of fondling a girl because he attempted to contact the victim and her family from jail.

The Rev. Timothy Parker, 40, of Westgate, is charged with third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a minor. The charges are class C felonies.

Parker served St. Peter Lutheran Church in Westgate. His alleged victim is a relative.

During a bond review hearing at the Fayette County Courthouse, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Susan Krisko argued Parker's alleged efforts to communicate with the girl and her family violated a protection order.

"The safety of the victim is in jeopardy should he bond out," Krisko told Judge Margaret Lingreen.

Krisko submitted as evidence letters she said Parker wrote to persuade his accuser and her family to drop the charges. Authorities have since charged Parker with four counts of violating a protection order, a misdemeanor, Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher said.

According to Krisko, Parker bypassed the Fayette County Jail's mailing system, giving some of the letters to a visiting pastor. Authorities found other correspondence in Parker's cell, Krisko added.

In the letters, Parker allegedly wrote dropping the charges would mean he could go home and spend time with his family. He also attempted to pit his accusers against other relatives, Krisko said.

Some of the correspondence included step-by-step instructions for what the victim could say if authorities questioned her reasoning. Parker suggested the victim attribute her allegations to being mad and influenced by a sex abuse prevention video, Krisko added.

"He's even trying to get her to lie as to why she wants to drop the charges," Krisko said.

According to criminal complaints, Parker allegedly had the girl undress and then touched her. Parker also admitted performing oral sex when questioned by investigators, according to court documents.

Initially, defense attorney Pat Dillon intended to ask the court to reduce the $40,000 bond but opted to withdraw the request. Krisko suggested Judge Lingreen at least double the amount.

Dillon argued that would be overkill, noting the bond amount should not be used as a punishment.

"Mr. Parker was poor when he was arrested. He remains poor," Dillon said. "He's not going to be able to make any new bond."

Judge Lingreen set the amount at $50,000, cash only.

At the state's request, Lingreen also clarified the protection order applies to the victim and four other immediate family members.


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