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Church Mentor from Bellmawr Accused in Sex Assault of Boy

Authorities are concerned there may have been more instances of abuse involving the mentor at Barrington's Grace Bible Church.

A Bellmawr man was arrested Saturday and charged with sexually abusing a juvenile boy he met while serving as a "youth mentor" at a Barrington church, authorities announced on Sunday.

Samuel Bangs, 23, has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual contact and single counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Authorities noted the Bangs was no longer a mentor to the victim at the time the alleged sexual assaults occurred.

The victim was identified in a statement issued Sunday by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office as a juvenile male under the age of 16. He came forward to authorities with the allegations of sexual abuse on Friday.

The alleged illegal sexual encounters occurred on several occasions, including in public parks, over the past two months, according to Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, Barrington Police Chief Joseph Eisenhardt and Camden County Parks Police Chief Robert Colangelo, who jointly announced the charges against Bangs.

Authorities are only aware of the one victim in connection with Bangs at this time, but the fact the Bellmawr man worked with children is a matter of concern.

Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Jason Laughlin urged anyone aware of other inappropriate interactions between Bangs and juveniles to contact Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Investigator Anthony Roccia at 856-225-8400.

Judy Jones June 11, 2012 at 04:43 PM
We hope that others who have knowledge or may have been harmed by Samuel Bangs, will contact the police, a therapist, and/or a support group. That is the best way to expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511 snapjudy@gmail.com (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org).
Emily Waltz August 18, 2012 at 01:28 AM
No one was ever hurt by Sam. He is the greatest friend a person could have. These allegations are ridiculous and I can't believe that he's been in jail this long without our judicial system doing something. Makes me sick. There should be a support group for his family and friends for what you are putting us and him through.

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