Pastor Charged With Sex Crimes in Fayette County

By Jeff Raasch

WESTGATE, Iowa – A Fayette county magistrate this afternoon set bond at $40,000 for a Westgate pastor charged in Fayette County with sex crimes after a week-long investigation.

Timothy E. Parker, 40, of Westgate, has been charged with two counts of lascivious acts with a minor and one count of third-degree sexual abuse. According to the Fayette County sheriff's office, the victim is a 12-year-old girl who is now 13.

Parker, the pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Westgate, was arrested Wednesday after an "intense" investigation and a search of his home, authorities said. He was taken to the Fayette County Jail.

According to the church's website, Parker has been the pastor at St. Peter's since September 2001.

Fayette County investigators were reviewing some of the evidence, but may seek assistance from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Cedar Rapids.

The magistrate told Parker that if convicted, he faces a prison term of up to 10 years on each count. He requested, and was granted, a court-appointed attorney.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Aug. 25. The magistrate will also issue a no-contact order between Parker and his accuser.

Police say the incident took place in early June 2009. According to court documents, Parker had the girl undress and lay on a bed at her home, where he fondled her and rubbed hand lotion on her.

Parker admitted his involvement in the incident, according to investigators.

Investigators also say Parker performed a sex act on the same child June 9.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Fayette County sheriff's office.
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