By Bob Allen
Residents of a Birmingham suburb expressed shock at sexual abuse charges filed against a popular school teacher who faced similar allegations, but avoided arrest, 20 years ago while he was youth minister at a Baptist church.
Police in Alabaster, Ala., arrested Daniel Montague Acker Jr., 49, Jan. 4 and charged him with three counts of first-degree child sexual abuse. A fourth charge involving a second victim was added Jan. 6.
Police said Acker admitted to molesting at least 21 female students during his 25-year tenure as a teacher at three public schools.
According to the Shelby County Reporter, Acker was accused of child abuse in 1992, but a grand jury did not indict him. At the time he was serving as a youth pastor at Alabaster’s Westwood Baptist Church.
First Baptist Church of Pelham, Ala., allowed Acker’s family to hold a spaghetti supper at the church as a fund raiser after the 1992 allegations.
“In hindsight, I wish they would have found somewhere else to have it,” First Baptist Pastor Mike Shaw told the newspaper. Shaw apologized “for allowing an event to be held in our facility which provided support for someone who used his position to prey on innocent children.”