|Rev. Ronnie Koch Accused of Delivering Letters for Jailed Colleague
By Dennis Magee
September 18, 2010
WEST UNION, Iowa - A pastor who allegedly helped a colleague jailed and accused of sexually abusing a relative is now facing charges as well.
According to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, the Rev. Ronnie Koch of Fredericksburg mailed letters written by the Rev. Timothy Parker of Westgate.
Koch, 44, is charged with two counts of aiding and abetting a violation of an order of protection, a misdemeanor.
"It's unfortunate something like that had to happen again. He violated the law and their trust," Sheriff Marty Fisher said.
According to the sheriff's office, Koch made a professional visit to the Fayette County Jail to see Parker, who asked him to take the letters. The letters went to people Parker is barred from contacting, which Koch knew, according to authorities.
Parker, 40, is charged with third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a child. The charges are Class C felonies. The victim is female and a minor.
As a result of the recent incident, authorities also charged Parker with four counts of violating an order of protection. He is being held on $50,000 bond, cash only.
At a bond review hearing Wednesday, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Susan Krisko said Parker attempted to communicate with the victim and her family. Krisko submitted letters in which Parker attempted to persuade his accuser and relatives to drop the sex abuse charges.
Some of the correspondence included instructions on what the girl could say if questioned by authorities. Parker suggested she attribute the allegations to being angry and the influence of a sex abuse prevention video.
Sheriff Fisher said after getting "several" letters, the victims called authorities.
"The victims had notified myself and the office," he added.
Fisher said investigators spoke to Koch who realized the gravity of the situation.
"He knew he'd done wrong," Fisher said.
Parker serves St. Peter Lutheran Church in Westgate. Various websites, Koch serves St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Fredericksburg.
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