Former Sioux Center Christian teacher sentenced in sex abuse case

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ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KTIV) –  Judge Steven Andreasen sentenced former Sioux Center Christian school teacher 37-year-old Curtis Van Dam to 60 years in prison Friday.

The Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle said Van Dam was sentenced for seven separate sex crimes.

Kunstle said the case arose in October of 2017 after authorities began receiving reports that Van Dam, a former teacher and coach, “orchestrated sexual conduct with multiple students.”

Judge Andreasen said Van Dam must serve at least 32 and a half years after adding the 15-year federal sentence and the 17 and a half mandatory minimum for the state charges. The sentences will run consecutively.

Before sentencing, 19  victim impact statements were read in Sioux County court.

One of the victim’s mother showed the court a picture of a drawing her son had made. It showed her son with a gun to his head with the hand of God reaching down. She asked, “How can one person, a teacher, that they looked up to get to hurt that many people and get away with it for the long?”

November 30, 2018, Van Dam pleaded guilty to five counts of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd Degree, one count of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree and one count of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee.  Kunstle said there were a total of 15 victims.

Van Dam will be returned to federal custody to serve his 15-year sentence and then be returned to Iowa to serve his 60-year prison term.


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Former northwest Iowa teacher, Curtis Van Dam is appearing in Sioux County court for sentencing Friday.

Last November, Van Dam changed his plea to guilty to a number of criminal counts for sexually abusing numerous children over several years.

Victims and family members of victims just finished giving impact statements.

The Sioux County Attorney said these crimes are separate then the federal crimes so he asks that the judge order the sentences to be served consecutively.

The court is taking a 10-minute recess before Judge Steven Andreasen is set to sentence Van Dam.

The tweets below are from earlier court proceedings on Friday:

 

KTIV Staff

KTIV Staff

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