Curtis Van Dam

A former school teacher in northwest Iowa will spend 15 years in prison after agreeing to a plea deal in a child sex abuse case.

Thirty-six-year-old Curtis Van Dam pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to one count of sexual exploitation of a child. Van Dam agreed to the 15 year term, which is the mandatory minimum required by federal sentencing rules. Police arrested Van Dam on October 23, 2017 after the parents of an 11-year-old boy reported the teacher had sexual contact with their son.

Van Dam was initially charged with 146 counts, including 73 counts of sexual abuse. Police said the charges stemmed from incidents involving numerous children over four years and that the crimes occurred at various locations, including Sioux Center Christian School, where Van Dam worked.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)