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More details emerge on sex abuse scandal that snared Waco campus minister | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

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Regional Assemblies of God officials said they ousted minister Chris Hundl on May 4 from his leadership positions in Baylor Chi Alpha and a local church as part of their investigation into links between a registered sex offender and Texas Chi Alpha chapters.

In a statement to Tribune-Herald, officials from the denomination’s North District Council stated that they “recommended Chris Hundl’s dismissal to the General Council Credentials Committee, which action is in process.”

Hundl was arrested Tuesday and charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. He was released Wednesday from McLennan County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Hundl was the pastor of Mountain Valley Church in Waco, an affiliate of the Assemblies of God. As of Friday, the Mountain Valley Waco website could no longer be accessed, along with the Baylor Chi Alpha website and social media pages.

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Baylor University has suspended the campus Chi Alpha chapter and is investigating it, university officials have told the Tribune-Herald. They have emphasized that Hundl was not a Baylor employee.

Hundl’s arrest warrant says he allowed a registered sex offender access to two young family members several times between summer 2021 and March 2022. The warrant says Hundl described the registered sex offender as his “spiritual mentor.” Hundl said he had known the sex offender since college, and the two men had engaged in sexual acts as a “spiritual activity,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also says Hundl told investigators the sex offender acted as a “grandfather” to the children.

According to the Texas sex offender registry, the offender was charged in 2012 for sexual abuse of a minor, a third-degree felony. According to court documents, he committed the offense in Alaska between 1995 and 1997.

The online forum “XA and the Lion’s Den” was created to “create an atmosphere of openness and transparency to acknowledge the wrongs done in Chi Alpha by the hands of (the sex offender) and other XA leaders over time,” according to the forum’s statement of purpose. The site has collected numerous allegations of abuse against the sex offender and Chi Alpha leadership dating back over 30 years.

In April, Scheef & Stone LLP, a Frisco law firm representing victims of the sex offender, released a letter addressed to Texas A&M University, Texas State University, the University of Houston, Rice University and the University of Texas, alleging Chi Alpha and Assembly of God leadership was aware of the man’s sex offender status and continued to associate with him and direct young men to him for spiritual guidance.

The letter alleges Texas Chi Alpha and Assembly of God leadership wrote letters asking for leniency in the sentencing of the sex offender in 2012.

Eli Stewart was affiliated with the Texas A&M chapter of Chi Alpha and was the pastor of the Mountain Valley Church in College Station until a few weeks ago. The church board announced his dismissal May 21.

A statement on the church’s website says the church learned Stewart knew the man was a convicted sex offender and continued to refer young men to him for spiritual guidance.

“The Board and Elders commissioned an independent investigation into those allegations, and as the investigation began in early May it quickly become clear that Eli Stewart had fallen into sinful practices unbecoming of the office of a pastor and that he had neglected his duty to protect his flock from a known predator, both of which disqualify him from ministry,” a statement from the church says. “The Board and Elders voted to dismiss Eli Stewart as pastor in accordance with our bylaws.”

In the statement to the Tribune-Herald, the denomination’s district council states that it had no record of the sex offender “ever serving as a North Texas District Assemblies of God Minister or holding a position with Chi Alpha in North Texas.”

Other Chi Alpha chapters under scrutiny include the one at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. William Robinson served as a minister for the chapter until June 2022, when he was arrested on several felony charges, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault of a child, two counts of indecent contact with a child and one count of indecent exposure to a child, Nueces County court records show. His trial is set for next month, according to court records.

An archived version of Chi Alpha Baylor’s website says Hundl served the Corpus Christi Chi Alpha chapter from 2010 to 2019 before coming to Waco to start the Baylor chapter.

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