News

Church responds to sex assault charges

Todd Ronald Hildebrand -
Todd Ronald Hildebrand
— image credit:

A U.S. man charged with child sex offences in Abbotsford volunteered with a Washington State church, but an official there said the man was not part of any children’s ministries.

Abbotsford Police announced the charges against Todd Ronald Hildebrand, 40, on Oct. 11 involving offences that allegedly occurred 10 years ago involving a 13-year-old youth.

The Abbotsford News has learned that Hildebrand was connected with the Abundant Life Church in Bellingham, Wash. Pastor Jonathan Hanson said Hildebrand began attending the church seven years ago and has been actively involved working in the coffee shop and with the music band.

“Todd has never been part of any of the children’s ministries or youth ministries, nor has Todd ever been along with any youth or children in our church,” Hanson said in a written statement to The News.

He said the church is helping Hildebrand’s family “walk through all of the challenges that they are facing with these charges.”

“We have never observed or known Todd’s character to be anything but honourable, trustworthy, faithful, and he is well respected by our church members,” Hanson added.

Hildebrand was charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference, and two counts of invitation to sexual touching.

He is a permanent resident of the United States, but is a Canadian citizen who often visited Abbotsford, police said, expressing concerns that there could be other victims and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Hildebrand was released from custody and must follow court-ordered conditions that include not attending any area where children are expected to be present such as parks, school grounds, recreation centres, swimming pools and playgrounds.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Thousands turn out for 2nd Annual Tree Lighting Show
 
Christmas Artisan Market boasts many unique items
 
Cyrus Centre celebrates 10 years of supporting at-risk youth
New buses for Abbotsford students
 
Arrests of pipeline protesters in Burnaby signal start of long battle
 
Chiefs regain first place with Salmon Arm win
Tunisians hold landmark presidential election
 
Islamic State group recruits, exploits children
 
Putin says he will not be president for life