Article from the Statesman Journal
Police are searching for more potential victims after a Silverton man, who ran a Christian ministry and co-owned a local coffee shop, was arrested on sex abuse charges.
Andrew Stutzman, 38, was charged with 10 counts of second-degree sex abuse following his arrest on July 1. Court documents listed one female victim and stated the abuse took place between 2012 and 2016. Silverton police Detective Josh Boatner said the victim, now an adult, was underage at the time of the alleged incidents.
Police began investigating Stutzman in June when the victim came forward. During the weeks-long investigation, Boatner interviewed the victim, who said Stutzman began the abuse when she was 16.
An indictment filed through Marion County Circuit Court alleged Stutzman engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim in five different instances and had other forms of sexual contact five times.
Boatner said police are looking for other victims. Stutzman started a youth group with his wife and had frequent contact with teens.
The website for the Silverton-based A.C.T.S. Ministry listed Stutzman as one of the church’s leaders. The ministry’s Facebook page promoted teen-oriented events such as hikes at Silver Falls, concerts and outreach in downtown Portland.
Business records from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office list Stutzman as the registered agent of Gear-Up Coffee, at 430 McClaine Street in Silverton. In the aftermath of his arrest, a sign posted on social media stated that, as of July 3, the coffee shop would be under the sole ownership of Aaron Miller and Luci Miller.
Aaron confirmed the ownership switch was made because of Stutzman’s arrest.
“We’re trying to keep our business running and be here for the community,” he said.
Stutzman, his wife, and the Millers purchased the coffee shop in 2015. The coffee shop was a frequent meet-up spot for Bible studies, book clubs and teens associated with Young Life, a nonprofit, Christian youth outreach organization.
Stutzman’s proximity to teens concerned some local parents, who recalled evening trips to Portland and late-night excursions their teens had attended with Stutzman.
He was reportedly involved with Young Life, but a representative from the Oregon Cascades Region chapter said Stutzman was not listed as a leader with Young Life, and said the organization runs criminal background checks on adult volunteers and employees. Boatner also said Stutzman was not a Young Life leader.
According to court records, Stutzman was convicted in 2013 of public indecency in Clackamas County. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years of probation, the conditions of which included orders to have no contact with minors, undergo sex offender treatments and stay away from areas frequented by children. Court documents did not specify whether he had to register as a sex offender, and a search for his name in Oregon’s sex offender registry yielded no results.
During his investigation, Boatner did not discover any other alleged victims. He encouraged anyone with information to contact the Silverton Police Department at 503-873-5326.
Following his arrest, Stutzman’s bail was set at $100,000. He was released on bond July 5 and ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim. His next hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 21 at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex.
If you or someone you care about was sexually abused, and you would like advice from an attorney about the rights and options for victims of child sexual abuse, please contact Crew Janci LLP today for a free, confidential consultation at 1-888-407-0224 or by using our private online form. We will treat you with discretion and respect.