Minnesota Pastor Faces Multiple Criminal Sex Charges, Teen Involved

Trinity Lutheran Church (Trinity Lutheran Facebook page)

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A former pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, faces three felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges after it was discovered he had sexual encounters with a teen who was seeking spiritual guidance and faith counseling.

Nathan Van Alfred Luong, 36, of Rochester, is accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenage female church member from Oct. 2019 to Feb. 2020. The Sleepy Eye Police Department conducted a seventh-month investigation with cooperation from the church and the Southeastern/Southwestern Minnesota Synod ELCA.

One of the reports of Luong's indiscretions came from a witness who called county human services to report Luong, who had confided to a second witness that he had relations with a 17-year-old girl, who is now an adult, marshallindependent.com reported. The report stated that Luong is now a pastor in Dodge Center, Minnesota.

Unconditional bond was set at $50,000, or $15,000 with conditions, and a court date was set for Dec. 23.

During the investigation, the girl admitted to having sex with Luong multiple times when she was 17, both at Luong's home and the church.

In May 2022, Luong initially denied he had sexual relations with the teen after the police acted on tips.

A sofa cover was seized after a warrant to test the female's DNA. Luong's DNA also was tested. The major female DNA was a match to the girl, and lab results on the DNA profiling on non-sperm cell fractions were found on the sofa cover.

Media reports say the Sleepy Eye Police Department encourages anyone else who was allegedly victimized by Luong to contact investigator Shawn Bohnen at the Sleepy Eye Police Department.

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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