A Las Vegas man volunteered to lead youth Bible study classes to commit a number of sexual assaults with underage students, police said Tuesday.
Las Vegas Metro Police said they were urging potential victims of 29-year-old David James to come forward.
Police said James was placed in custody last month and appeared in court, accused of 10 counts of sexual assault with a victim younger than 14, two counts of sexual assault with a victim younger than 16 and 10 counts of lewdness with a minor younger than 14.
The charges came after an investigation that wrapped up in December connecting him to allegations.
Henderson Police also investigated claims of similar crimes. He was rebooked by HPD on 10 counts of lewdness and four counts of sexual assault.
"The circumstances are very similar with the age of the young boy and similar circumstances about gaining trust with the family," Metro Lt. Dan McGrath said.
They say he eventually started babysitting, which led to the crimes.
Metro's Sexual Assault Section believe James used Bible study classes and volunteered to lead the classes at different religious centers in the area to gain access to his victims.
They wouldn't say which churches he was involved in but he was in the valley at least five years and could have volunteered at a number of places.
Safe Faith United helps train spiritual leaders on issues of domestic and sexual violence. Founder Rebeca Ferreira says many sexual predators cover their acts by acting Christian and preying on the faithful.
"We've been warning them about these things. You have to be careful. You can't trust these people just because they say they are Christian," Ferreira said.
She urges local churches to contact her for training and encourages them to implement background checks to protect the children. Victims' families can also contact her for guidance.
Police urge anyone who has concerns that their child may have been a victim to call Metro's Sexual Assault Section at 702-828-3421 or Henderson Police at 702-267-4750.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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