CHARGED FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT: Former Christian school teacher charged with molestation [#NathanDQualley #MelissaStewart #ChisagoChristianSchool] 06/26
A Mounds View man has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under age 13 for alleged sex abuse when he worked as a teacher at a Christian school in 2001.
Nathan D. Qualley, 46, of Mounds View, was charged in Chisago County District Court with sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl at Chisago Lakes Baptist School, now called Chisago Christian School, in Chisago City.
According to the criminal complaint, filed March 13, 2020, Nathan D. Qualley “groomed” and then sexually abused the girl, who had been sent to him for speech therapy.
Nathan D. Qualley was appointed as a deacon and a member of the church council at GracePoint Church in New Brighton in 2019, according to the church’s website from that year.
That had been on hold pending the outcome of the case, but this week according to GracePoint Senior Pastor Jared Carlson, the church will appoint someone else to the position.
The church congregation has not been informed of the Qualley lawsuit according to GracePoint Senior Pastor Jared Carlson.
However, church leadership has been notified and were exercising oversight.
“Everything has its appropriate response at its appropriate time.”
– GracePoint Senior Pastor Jared Carlson, noting that Nathan D. Qualley has the right to due process
In the complaint, Nathan D. Qualley denied inappropriately touching the girl.
According to plaintiff Melissa Stewart, now 29, who contacted media with her story, the abuse started when she was 10 years old in the fall of 2001.
Melissa Stewart was receiving enunciation lessons after school from Nathan D. Qualley in a classroom where just the two met.
At the time, Nathan D. Qualley was one year out of high school, according to his profile in the career networking website LinkedIn, which shows no professional training in speech therapy.
According to the complaint, Nathan D. Qualley’s contact with Melissa Stewart started small, “such as him placing a hand on her knee in class or while they prayed, or holding hands with her while praying.”
But the contact advanced.
During one of the last speech therapies with Nathan D. Qualley, a “Deacon Tim” opened the classroom door and saw Nathan D. Qualley holding her hands and sitting close according to Melissa Stewart.
A Chisago County investigator contacted that deacon, Tim Montzka, “who immediately recalled the incident,” according to the complaint.
Tim Montzka told the investigator he was doing his rounds, checking rooms, and saw a door shut.
Looking through the window, Tim Montzka saw Nathan D. Qualley and Melissa Stewart “sitting nose to nose” and “appeared to be praying.”
Opening the door, Tim Montzka saw that the two were holding hands according to the complaint.
Tim Montzka told the investigator he was so upset by the incident that he “chased” the defendant out of the room and told Melissa Stewart’s mother what he saw.
The incident was never reported to police, according to Melissa Stewart, nor did the school investigate it or interview her.
According to Melissa Stewart, she did not “recognize it as sexual abuse” until her early 20s.
According to Melissa Stewart, now a student at Duke University School of Law, she had not planned to go public with the case.
But Melissa Stewart did so after learning that Nathan D. Qualley was active in the church and had been named a deacon for a congregation that was uninformed about his past.
“I thought, maybe this will put them on alert. The congregation needs to be warned of this.”
– Melissa Stewart
A court hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2020.
Mounds View man charged with child sex abuse