Updated: Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010, 5:34 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 14 Jan 2010, 5:06 PM EST
GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A German man in West Michigan on a student visa is charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct against three boys.
Carsten Schaaf, 28, was arraigned Jan.14 in 58th District Court. The boys were ages 12 and 13 at the time of the alleged incidents. On January 20, he waived his preliminary exam on the charges. He will be arraigned in circuit court on February 1.
One of the victims told his parents of the alleged contact and they contacted the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. Detectives questioned Schaaf and he was taken into custody Wednesday. The CSC charges he faces are first and second degree.
Schaaf, who resides in Grand Rapids, was involved with three youth organizations: Science Olympiad at Jenison Junior High, religious education at St. Pius X Church in Grandville and coaching a soccer team he brought into Soccer Zone in Georgetown Township.
Investigators suspect while the alleged acts didn't occur at any of these locations, volunteering could have been his way to facilitate the alleged assaults.
"These would be youth mentoring organizations, some athletic organizations and some religious affiliated organizations, and that's how we think he had access to the children," said Lt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.
Jenison Public Schools Superintendent Thomas TenBrink said Schaaf worked at the junior high since 2006 and always was surrounded by other adults when he was with students.
Schaaf was interested in teaching, TenBrink added. Here is a statement he released:
"During the time in which Carsten Schaaf was a student at Grand Rapids Community College, 2005-2007, he served as a volunteer coach to Jenison Junior High's Science Olympiad Team under the direction supervision of the head coach. As a JPS volunteer, Carsten passed all of the background checks that were utilized at that time. It is my understanding that Carsten was interested in being a teacher and was looking for opportunities to test his skills in the teaching of science. The teachers who worked directly with Carsten indicate he never gave them any reason to believe he shouldn't be working in a volunteer capacity with Jenison Junior High School students. Carsten has not worked in any capacity in Jenison Public Schools since the spring of 2007."
He is a student at Kuyper College, which also provided a statement:
"Carsten Schaaf is a student at Kuyper College. We understand that he has been arrested and that there is an ongoing investigation by the Ottawa County Sherriff’s Department. The college will provide full cooperation to the authorities with regard to their investigation. We have no further comment at this time."
Schaaf is being held at the Ottawa County jail on $25,000 bond. He was living in Grand Rapids.
Investigators have reported these alleged incidents to immigrations. They are unsure if he has a record in Germany. Schaaf is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 20.