FORMER CHRISTIAN SCHOOL TEACHER ACCUSED OF MOLESTING BOYS
February 4th, 2013
by Scott McCabe
staff crime reporter
A former youth worker and teacher at a Christian school in Gaithersburg has been charged with molesting teenage boys during the 1980s and '90s.
Nathaniel Morales, 55, has been indicted in Montgomery County Circuit Court on 10 counts of sexually abusing four boys under his care.
Morales, now a Pentecostal bishop in Las Vegas, has a hearing scheduled for Friday .
Police began investigating in 2009 after a man came forward to say that Morales had performed sex acts on him beginning when he was about 14 years old.
Morales was a member of Covenant Life Church and a teacher at the victim's school, the now defunct Montgomery County Covenant Life Academy. Morales held Bible studies and sleep overs at his Germantown apartment where the victim said much of the molestation occurred.
The victim's father told detectives that he talked with pastors about Morales, but there were "concerns of tarnished reputations," and no police report was made.
Police interviewed two pastors who confirmed that they talked to Morales about the allegations that he was abusing boys.
One pastor, Ernest Boisvert, told police that "normally the church would appeal to the accused to stop his criminal behavior and then, should it not stop, they would alert people that the person is not acting in a Christian manner," according to police.
Boisvert said he "took his cues from the families of the victims," who did not indicate they wanted to notify police, charging documents said.
Police said they then discovered three more victims, who all told similar stories of Morales sneaking into their bedrooms at night and molesting them.
The alleged abuse occurred at the boys' homes, on camping trips and at the school.
Another father, when questioned by police, told investigators that he had confronted Morales, and Morales asked for the father's forgiveness. The father told police that Morales confessed, and he forgave the man. The father did not notify police.
Don Nalle, the communications director of Covenant Life Church, did not return requests for comment on Monday.
A statement on the church's website, signed by the pastors, says:
"We are sickened by the thought of such abuse -- sexual abuse in any form is evil and unconscionable. We are grieved by these allegations. We also recognize that we don't have all the facts. We would encourage everyone to withhold judgment until an appropriate legal process can be completed."