Just months after he was quietly removed from his role last June, the Matt Chandler-led, Village Church in Texas has revealed that a former children’s minister, Matthew Tonne, has been charged with sexual assault involving a minor from his church.
The assault reportedly took place at a camp for kids in 2012.
“We have an update regarding the 2012 Kids Camp situation that we communicated publicly last September. The Dallas County District Attorney filed charges in this case against a former employee of The Village Church, Matt Tonne, who was indicted by the Dallas County Grand Jury and is being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office. Matt turned himself in and is now out on bond. The outcome is pending trial,” the church said in a statement this week.
The admission comes after Chandler declined to say if any person of interested in the case was ever affiliated with the church after revealing the assault last September. He also said that “no persons of interest” in the investigation have access to children at The Village Church.
Information from court documents reviewed by The Christian Post, shows that Tonne, 35, was charged with indecent child contact and released on a $25,000 bond. He was ordered to have no contact with the complainant in the case against him or her family.
Tonne was also ordered to have no contact with children 17 years or younger except his own children. He is expected to answer to the charge at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29.
Before he was removed from his post at The Village Church last June, Tonne, a longtime church employee, was known as a beloved leader and family man with a wife and three children of his own.
“Matt loves the Lord and is marked by humility, wisdom and patience (he works with a staff of all women for goodness sakes and yet somehow he puts up with all our emotions and craziness on a never ending basis). He loves and shepherds the children, families and volunteers of our ministry and is a great asset to our church body. He likes YouTube videos, internet memes, and is pretty consistently rocking out to the most recent pop hits while cranking out Children’s curriculum from his office. He speaks in moderate language and has a bandwidth that is unreal,” Hoffman wrote.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair