Brooklyn Park Bus Driver Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct
A Brooklyn Park school bus driver has been charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. The case dates back to the early 2000s. It involves a female victim who reported the assaults to Brooklyn Park Police on Dec. 10.
The alleged victim claims that bus driver Carl Broden, 65, of Brooklyn Park began sexually assaulting her when she was 14. The assaults went on until she was 22, the criminal complaint said. The timeframe of the allegations is between 2004 and 2012.
The criminal complaint says the female victim identified Broden as her step uncle. Her statement also says Broden offered money or other things in exchange for sexual favors.
Suspect Was Also a Youth Pastor
Most of the assaults happened outside the Maple Grove rest stop on I-94, the complaint said. Others allegedly occurred at the defendant’s house.
“One of the things that’s very disturbing in this case is the length of time in which the victim had been abused, over the course of eight years,” said Brooklyn Park Deputy Police Chief Mark Bruley. “It really appears to be some sort of a grooming process that’s pretty extensive. That gives us concern and even gives us more concern because the suspect in this case is in a position of authority over children in a couple different capacities as a bus driver and a youth pastor.”
Bruley is concerned there could be other victims, but police have not been able to prove that. Besides being a bus driver, Broden was a youth pastor at Discover Church in Brooklyn Park and attended services there.
Pastor Carl Billings recently sent a letter to his congregation stating that the alleged sexual assaults did not happen on church grounds, or at church events.
“Shock and Saddened”
Billings says the church has worked very hard to prevent these types of incidents. However, Billings was “shocked and saddened” by the news.
“My prayer and hope is first that the truth will come out,” Billings said. “That the victims, whoever they might be, or victim whoever they might be, will receive healing and support. Period.”
Billings says he never saw any inappropriate behavior from Broden. He believes that the church is a safe spot and points out they have policies to prevent this kind of thing from happening.