A southwest Iowa man who faces sex abuse charges was arrested Thursday night in Council Bluffs. A warrant was issued in Mills County Thursday, for 55-year-old Stephen Beattie, of Malvern who was wanted in connection with an investigation into charges he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old male this past April in the basement of the Mansfield-Hertz Funeral Home in Malvern.

Beattie was being held Thursday night in the Mills County Jail on a felony charge of third-degree sexual abuse, along with two serious misdemeanor charges, including lascivious acts with a minor, and indecent exposure. A criminal complaint filed against Beattie alleges he committed sex acts on the unidentified teen just two days before the funeral home’s director, Karl Hertz, committed suicide, on April 16th.

The complaint also implicated Hertz, by saying he participated in the sex acts. The teen told investigators he had worked for Hertz for nearly three years, and had engaged in similar activities with him for seven months. The juvenile alleged that on a dozen occasions, Hertz showed him pornographic images on the computer in the funeral home’s basement.

The 62-year-old committed suicide before authorities had a chance to act on a search warrant for his home and business. Had he lived, Hertz would have faced similar charges resulting from the current case, as well as for similar sexual activity involving yet another male juvenile.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic