Former Sioux Center Christian school teacher changes plea in sexual exploitation case

A former northwest Iowa fifth-grade teacher charged with multiple acts of sex abuse has changed his plea in a federal case filed against him.

At a plea hearing, Monday, in federal court in Sioux City 36-year-old Curtis Van Dam pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child. When he’s sentenced, Van Dam faces a mandatory minimum of 15-years in federal prison. No sentencing date has been set.

Van Dam has pleaded not guilty to 146 counts in Sioux County Court. That includes 73 counts of sexual abuse. His trial in Sioux County is scheduled to begin July 17.

Police say the charges stem from incidents involving numerous children over four years and that the crimes occurred at various locations, including Sioux Center Christian School, where Van Dam worked.

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