A Valencia church is working to address concerns and questions, after news broke of a former employee being charged with committing sex crimes about five years ago in St Louis, Mo.
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Brandon Milburn, 26, of Valencia, was arrested Thursday after St. Louis County police officers said their investigation led to accusations that Milburn sexually assaulted two St. Louis children from 2007-09. He listed his occupation as producer for Real Life Church.
Related article: Valencia Man Arrested On St. Louis Sex Crimes Charges
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials said Wednesday there is no active investigation into Milburn here because no Santa Clarita Valley residents have made any accusations against Milburn.
“We’ve got people asking us, ‘Was his background checked?’” said Pastor Fred Gray, executive pastor of Real Life Church, mentioning some of the concerns he’s heard from the congregation. “Absolutely, we do that as part of our hiring process.”
Milburn reportedly moved from St. Louis to Simi Valley in 2010, and more recently to the Valencia area. A call to the Simi Valley Police Department regarding any active investigations was not immediately returned.
The church is reaching out to members through email, Facebook and meetings to try to communicate what the church knows, Gray said, although officials at Real Life Church are still conducting their own investigation into the situation.
While Milburn was not working with children in any sort of regular, paid capacity, he did some work with the church’s college ministry in the community, Gray said.
Before the charges were brought to light, he had volunteered to go on a trip with high school students, Gray said, but the trip has not yet happened.
Milburn, who worked with the church for about five and a half months, came highly recommended by references, including a pastor in St. Louis, Gray said. Church officials have been “horrified” by the accusations, he said.
St. Louis County police officials said the victims only came to light recently, and previously, there had been no charges or criminal investigation into Milburn.
Related article: Santa Clarita Valley Sex Offenders: A Look At Megan’s Law
A check on the Megan’s Law website shows Milburn had no previous history of sexual abuse before last week’s allegations.
Milburn was charged with six counts of statutory sodomy in the first degree Thursday, and the alleged victims were two 12-year-old boys.
Milburn confessed to the crimes he was accused to while being questioned, according to Sgt. Matt Redmond of the St. Louis County Police Department.
Milburn has not yet been arraigned on those counts, according to records available online.
He’s being held in lieu of a $100,000 cash only bond.
Real Life Church released the following information on their Facebook page, in light of the sex crimes allegations against Valencia resident Brandon Milburn:
We are saddened to inform you that a former employee of Real Life Church has been arrested for alleged crimes against minors, which took place approximately 5 years ago in St. Louis, MO. This matter is still under active investigation and we do not know about the truth of these allegations, but can share with you the following facts:
- The former employee worked in our Production department for approximately 5 ½ months.
- He came with references and cleared a background check.
- We have never received any complaints or concerns expressed about him or his conduct here at RLC.
- His job responsibilities did not involve working with children.
We take the safety of children in our care very seriously and have robust policies and procedures in place, such as background checks for all volunteers that work with children and security cameras in all children’s rooms. While the proper authorities are investigating this incident, we ask that you pray for all involved.
Should you have any questions or information to share, please contact our Executive Pastor, Fred Gray, at email@example.com / 661.775.4707.
Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Santa Clarita News