Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with Sexual Abuse at Lutheran Island Camp

We are saddened and disturbed by the news today that a Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with sexually assaulting four boys during a church-affiliated fishing trip. The deputy, Aaron Joseph Heuer, 29, is accused of inappropriately touching four boys between the ages of 8 and 10, and has been charged with eight counts of criminal sexual conduct in Otter Tail County, Minn. At least some of the alleged crimes occurred in June while Heuer was volunteering as a fishing guide at Lutheran Island Camp in Henning, Minn.

This news unfortunately is a reminder that all organizations that work with children must implement and maintain effective child protection and abuse prevention training measures. In this case, an officer of the law – seemingly among the safest of individuals – utilized the camp setting and the elevated level of trust conferred upon him as a means to access and abuse children. We hope that prosecuting this behavior is easier than comprehending it.