Abuse arrest: Youth leader charged with sexual encounters with underage girl

July 2016 Posted in News

By Kristine Thomas

Silverton resident Andrew Thomas Stutzman was arrested July 1 and charged with 10 counts of second degree sex abuse.

Silverton Police Detective Josh Boatner said the case stems from allegations Stutzman had “close to a three-year long sexual relationship with a juvenile starting when the victim was 16 years old.” The relationship reportedly took place from 2012 to 2015.

Boatner said he is investigating if there are additional victims.

“I have been given some names of other juveniles who have spent a significant amount with Andrew Stutzman,” Boatner said.  Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact Boatner at 503-874-2278.

Stutzman, who until recently was the co-owner of Gear Up Coffee Shop, was a youth group leader. He met with youth at the coffee shop and took them to church.

According to the Silverton Police Log, an investigation determined Stutzman had “numerous sexual encounters with a youth group member since she was 16 years old. A pretext phone call was completed where Mr. Stutzman admitted to being in a sexual relationship with victim since she was 16.”

Boatner said the victim was at the police station when she called Stutzman and he “admitted” to being in a relationship. Boatner added Oregon law allows a person to record a conversation they have initiated with one other person.

The case was presented to the Marion County Grand Jury and Stutzman was indicated. According to the police report, Stutzman was arrested after he “fled from his work just prior to Clackamas County deputies arrival. Stutzman was later located at his in-laws house in Silverton. Stutzman wanted to speak with a lawyer so he was transported to (Marion County Corrrectional Facility) without further incident.”

Stutzman, 38, was released on bail July 5 and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 21, where he will enter a plea.

Tips for parents concerned about their children

News stories about sex abuse naturally raise concerns for parents. They wonder if their child could be a victim.

One way for parents to determine if their child is a possible victim or “up to no good” is if the child is hiding their phone calls or text messages from the parents, Silverton Police Detective Josh Boatner said.

“There are several apps out there which make this very easy to hide conversations,” Boatner said. “If they are hiding texts or calls from you there is probably a reason – that you do not approve of – for why they are doing so.”

Boatner advises parents to check in on their children and make sure they know where they are going, who they are going to be with, and what time they will be home.

“Get phone numbers of other parents of your children’s friends. Make sure you actually call and talk to the other parents,” he advises, warning, “Kids can grab their parent’s phone and text you from it.

“Finally, trust your parental instincts.  If something does not feel right or make sense, look further into it,” Boatner said. 

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.