Area Director Guilty of Sexual Misconduct at Young Life’s Camp Castaway

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Area Directors Behaving Badly, Young Life
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This is another case of a Young Life area director being convicted of sexual misconduct.  Mr. Mark Steven Holm , age 54, was the area director for Young Life in East Central Minnesota and has plead guilty to sexual relations with a 17 year old member of his Young Life club.

What’s especially concerning, is that one of the sexual encounters happened at Young Life’s Castaway property.  How is it that a grown man and a 17 year old Young Lifer can steal away and have sex while being at camp?  This should raise concern for any parent considering sending their teen to camp.

One news report captures the pain of the victim’s mother, you can read the article here:

“On the day that I picked up her cell phone and read all those texts, my world shattered. Everything that I had spent 17 years trying to protect was gone. I can’t describe the horror I felt.”

Those words were spoken by the mother of Mark Steven Holm’s victim during sentencing on Thursday, Nov. 17 in 10th District Court in Cambridge.

If that’s not bad enough, then the following is even more bizarre and disturbing.

“They had also exchanged photographs via their cellphones with one of those photographs being of Holm naked.”

“The victim said in the complaint that she and Holm had also discussed running away together as well as committing suicide, with the last option being made to look like an accident. Conversely, the victim said in the complaint she had also tried to end the relationship on several occasions to no avail.”

Although it wasn’t read in the courtroom, the victim provided the court with a statement.

“Because of Homer and how he manipulated me, I have a difficult time trusting men. In fact, I don’t. He pushed me away from my family and my friends,” she wrote. “I lost all sense of right and wrong. At one point, he had so much control over me  that he had me thinking that suicide was the only way out for both of us….”

““I lost so much innocence that I will never get back. My life will never be the same, and I hope he never has the opportunity to change someone else’s life like he did mine,” she continued.”

““The last year of our life has been a nightmare,” said the victim’s mother. “It was supposed to be one of the greatest years of [her] life, her senior year. Instead people dropped her as their friend, talked about her behind her back and to her face. She was lost and confused. People accused her of being the problem.”

This last quote is especially sad.  It was this girls senior year of high school.  Instead of basking in the last year of high school, the prom, the excitement of the future and college, she gets involved with a 54 year old man that manipulates her sexually and even has her considering killing herself because he does not want to be found out.  This is just plain twisted and sick.  The abuse of authority and the hideous control can not be exaggerated.

My sympathies go out to this young woman and her family.

You can read more about this case at the following links:

Holm Pleads Guilty to Felony Criminal Sexual Conduct

Former Youth Director Holm to Serve 11 Months in Prison

Youth Minister Sentenced for Criminal Misconduct

  1. Reblogged this on christianagnostic and commented:

    There’s not much more I can say about this case, except that it should concern any parent considering sending their teen to a week of camp. It really is a sad case of sexual misconduct, manipulation, and just what can go wrong when an adult’s access to young teens goes unchecked.

  2. M. Rodriguez says:

    that is so sad and disturbing

    • I agree…the family will be dealing with this for decades.

      In the meantime, it seems that Young Life was content to fire Mr. Holm and never mention the incident again. No public disclosure of how this went on so long without any staff or committee people confronting him or making sure appropriate boundaries between a teen and adult male staffer were kept.

      They had sex at camp, at each others homes, once a week in the Young Life office….again, boggles my mind that Young Life has made no public comment on what it’s doing differently since this incident of criminal activity by one of it’s area directors.

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  5. […] Area Director Guilty of Sexual Misconduct at Young Life’s Camp Castaway […]

  6. mominminn says:

    Not sure if anyone will read this, the last post was over 2 years ago. Mark Holm is back in jail. He violated his probation by having contact with a minor. He did not go to prison as was promised by prosecutors if he violated. He got 20 days in the local jail. The Anoka county prosecutors did not even show up for the probation violation hearing. Sad….so sad

  7. mominminn says:

    He was supposed to be since the time he was sentenced in 2011

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