Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Church Leader arrested for sexual assault of teen girl

A Cambridge Young Life leader accused of sexually assaulting a teenager also worked as a substitute teacher.

Fifty-four-year-old Mark Holm was arrested Wednesday and is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Holm is the director of Minnesota’s East Central Chapter of Young Life, an international Christian ministry group aimed at teenagers.

The Cambridge-Isanti School District confirmed Friday that Holm is also currently working as a K-12 substitute teacher at the school. School leaders issued a statement saying, “The safety and security for our students at Cambridge-Isanti is our main concern. Our thoughts go out to those involved.”

School leaders say Holm will remain an employee until the investigation is complete.

Holm is accused of assaulting a young person who attended Young Life. 5 EYEWITNESS News has learned the alleged victim is a 17-year-old girl from Cambridge-Isanti High School. Police have not said whether they believe other people may have been victimized.

Court documents allege Holm and the teen had been text messaging back and forth, often sending naked pictures of each other. The documents also allege the two had talked about running away together, getting married, even creating a suicide pact.

The teen’s parents called police after discovering some of those text messages. The girl claims she tried to end her relationship with Holm at one point, but says he wouldn’t let her.

Young Life issued a statement Friday morning saying, “We are deeply saddened to learn of allegations against Mark Holm, a Young Life staff member in Cambridge, MN. Mr. Holm has been placed on immediate administrative leave. Young Life expects to cooperate fully with authorities in their investigation of the case.”

Holm was held on $500,000 bail with no conditions, or $100,000 bail with conditions.

The case remains under investigation.


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