Monday, June 10, 2013

Troy, Michigan: Child Abuse Investigation at St. Augustine Lutheran Church

Leaders at St. Augustine Lutheran Church in Troy have identified a former volunteer as the subject of an ongoing child sexual assault investigation.

The allegation involves a child who attended the church’s preschool. Police launched an investigation after being contacted by a parent May 22, said Troy Police Capt. Robert Redmond.

At a news conference Thursday outside the church on Livernois, Richard Gady, a member of the preschool’s board of directors, said the person named as the suspect is no longer involved with the school.

Church officials identified the person as a volunteer, not an employee.

“We ended the person’s involvement immediately upon hearing of this complaint,” Gady said. Citing the sensitivity of the case, Redmond would not disclose the age of the child or the time frame in which the alleged assault took place.

A statement posted Thursday on St. Augustine’s website says, “The school has not been informed of any details regarding the complaint other than it occurred a few years ago.”

Police officials alerted both the church and Child Protective Services. Letters were sent to parents of children in the program, which has about two dozen students who range in age from 2½ to 5.

Troy police are asking anyone with information to contact the Police Department at 248-524-3477.

“This will be a lengthy investigation,” Redmond said.