Court docs. reveal more about child sex crime charges former chu - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Court docs. reveal more about child sex crime charges former church leader faces

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Court documents reveal more about the child sex crime allegations against a former Arlington church elder.

Dale Edwin Orth, 56, remains in jail on a $450,000 bond since his arrest in September, when he was charged with three counts of continued sexual abuse of a child.

But according to the arrest warrant affidavit, there are at least five potential victims.

Orth met one of the alleged victims, an 11-year-old boy, at Grace Community Church, where Orth was a congregant for more than 20 years and a board member for the past year. The boy told police Orth molested him several times over the course of nine months at the former church board member's house.

Court documents show that the boy's mother asked Orth to mentor her son, but that the boy made an outcry to his mother when faced with the decision of whether or not to continue allowing Orth to mentor him.

Documents say that "...the victim and suspect would change together in the bathroom to go swimming. It is during those times that the suspect would be completely naked in front of the victim."

The affidavit adds, "Over time, the suspect continued to ask him if he had any questions about puberty and would follow the victim into the bathroom to change."

Police, along with the Johnson County Sheriff, are investigating, and in the wake of Orth's charges, the church's pastor says its members are praying for healing.

"All the leadership of the church, we were shocked…we've been saddened, grieved by all this," said senior pastor Gary Hutchison.

Pastor Hutchison also said that the church has reviewed policies to ensure they're providing a safe environment for children, and that when he and his church staff were told that Orth was accused of sexual abuse of a child, they went to Child Protective Services and police right away.

"We also began to let the church know if there was anyone else or any other person who knows of any child that could have possibly been impacted by this," said Hutchison.

However, the mother of two boys who told police that Orth molested them says the pastor knew back in June about a claim that Orth had touched a boy inappropriately, saying that he didn't tell the church until a second boy came forward -- the boy who is referred to in the affidavit.

Orth was arrested and charged at his home by Arlington's Fugitive Unit on Sept. 10, and was immediately removed as a church elder.

Pastor Hutchison says to his knowledge, none of the alleged incidents of abuse happened at the church, and at least one happened several years ago.

Of the known alleged victims, only one of them was affiliated with the church.

"He wasn't involved with children really much at all," said Hutchison. "He worked some with our missions department, but he didn't really [get] involved with children."

FOX 4 went to Orth's Arlington home Monday, where his wife answered the door. She had no comment on her husband's arrest.

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