Two new felonies lodged in former youth director case

By Rachel Kytonen

Two new felony charges, and one new gross misdemeanor charge, were filed this week against a former Young Life director charged with criminal sexual conduct involving a female participating in the youth program.

Mark Steven Holm

Mark Steven Holm, 54, of Stanchfield, was charged Oct. 29, 2010 and pled not guilty in early January to three counts of felony 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct and was released from jail pending an April 18 trial.

A new complaint filed March 28 in 10th District Court, adds a new charge of felony 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, felony 4th degree criminal sexual conduct, and gross misdemeanor possession of obscene materials.

Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad said a new complaint was filed due to the three additional charges.

“Under the circumstances of further investigation, the dismissal of the original complaint and the refiling of a new complaint with the original charges, plus additional charges, is the cleanest way to proceed in my opinion,” Edblad said.

The complaint filed March 28 does not allege additional victims.

The new complaint alleges the offenses began in July 2010 and continued through October 2010. Locations of the alleged crimes were at the 17-year old victim’s residence; at Castaway Camp, a Young Life youth camp; in the Young Life office in Cambridge; and at Holm’s residence in Stanchfield.

The complaint also alleges the victim and Holm exchanged various nude photographs from the waist up via cell phone, and one completely nude photograph of Holm was sent to the victim.

Authorities were also particularly concerned about an alleged suicide pact between Holm and the victim.

The initial three, 3rd degree felony criminal sexual conduct charges against Holm are characterized as serious felonies.

Holm had been director of East Central Minnesota Young Life since 2004.

Holm’s next appearance in 10th District Court is scheduled for April 20, at 1:30 p.m. at the Isanti County Government Center in Cambridge.


  • Sal

    With background checks required to work around kids, why is this still happening again and again. They seem to befriend vulnerable youth and then they prey on them once they have gained their trust. Coworkers nowadays need to be on the lookout for any signs that don’t seem right. I hope our system works and this guy gets the maximum sentance.

  • Mary

    I’ve heard numerous conversations around town regarding this crime and many, many people who happen to go to the same church or happen to have known of Mr. Holm’s good deeds blame the victim. Horrible! Just because you’ve done good deeds doesn’t entitle you to prey upon a vulnerable child!! Wake up people. This guy is a criminal. The end!!

  • Nameless

    I’ve known Mark for many years and find it very hard to believe this is true. If it is true, it’s very sad to say the least. A lot of people are hurting because of this situation. Unfortunately these days not all children are as vulnerable as they appear. I’m not trying to put down the victim, but look at how some kids dress and act these days. The tight little shirts and hip hugger pants don’t excatly cry innocence. Even in Cambridge-Isanti High School kids are sending nude and partially nude photos of themselves to eachother. Again, I’m not blaming the victim or her parents because obviously they felt they could trust Mark and if the charges are true, he was the adult and should have controlled himself. But, parents need to teach their children self respect. They need to pay attention to what there children are watching on tv and on their computers, and what they’re doing with their cell phones. They also need to teach their kids to not be afraid to tell if they feel uncomfortable with an adult’s behavior toward them. In short, parents need to be parents and adults that will be in charge of children should have a complete background check.

    • JJ

      Are you freaking kidding me, Nameless? I cannot believe your comments. If high school students are sending themselves nude photos of each other, it should be OK for a 54 year old authority figure (of a youth group, no less) to do so? Essentially, you are blaming the victim and her parents, too. You are asinine.

    • former resident

      You think you knew Mark and he betrayed you by being a pig. a sexual predator. and you look absolutely ridiculous standing up for him. if you want to stand up for someone and show sympathy for someone in his family, show it for his wife and his kids. they need your love and support. and Mark Holm needs serious help. what his wife decides to do with their future together is HER decision.

      because you are nameless, I cannot tell if you are male or female. If you are male — you worry me — just by your comments on the clothing the girls are wearing. Or are you commenting on both girls and boys? I doubt it.

      I think you are an insensitive and uneducated person when it comes to real life, sexual predators and protecting our children.

      never EVER blame the victim you fool. the person comitting the act has power over their own brain and their own actions. In his case, he’s gonna say “the devil made me do it,” and frankly, he might be right.

      prayers for this young lady and healing for her and her family.

      and I truly and deeply care for Mark’s wife and his familiy that they can go on with their heads held high and hold on to their faith ..

  • resident

    There should be no blame placed on the victim whatsoever, no matter if children “seem innocent” or not. The bottom line here is that the victim is a child. There should be no discussion or thought about what children in high school wear or pictures they send to each other. It is irrelevant in this situation. I have also heard people around town placing blame on the victim. It is a shame that some people believe a high school student should be held accountable, in any way, for the actions of a 54 year old man. It is reactions like this that negatively influence victims of sexual abuse in their decision to tell someone.

  • Another mom

    If Mark were a true “Christian” he’d admit to his wrong doings and spare the victim a long humiliating court trial. He’s already admitted to the actions, so why is he pleading “not guilty”??? Another hypocritical bible banger.

  • Benjamin

    Some people use some pretty twisted logic to support this Holm guy, and it boggles my mind that even after all this time his supporters continue to blame the victim. That is just egregious. One of the most common arguments by the pro-Holm folks seems to be that “everyone is hurting.” This is no doubt true, but it doesn’t change the fact that the person who started all the hurting is the person charged with these offenses in the first place: Holm himself. Let’s not forget this fact. Also, does the filing of these new charges mean that the April 18 trial is going to be delayed and that Holm will continue to go around free as a bird till a new trial is set up, months from now?

  • former resident

    this whole story scare the bejeebers out of me. “Homer” as he is known by most if not all of the kids — knows many kids in the CIHS and surrounding community. Why did he victimize this 1 girl? What happened in his life (midlife crisis?) that allowed him to use such poor judgment. I am pleased to hear that YL is still continuing in the area as before it fell to his leadership, it was a very active thriving program and has been for decades. When good things are happening … the devil goes on overtime. i’ve seen it time and time again so you have to be even more diligent in sticking to the Bible truths. there is nothing in this story that would have the approval of our Lord. If a child (this young lady) is hurting; help her — but not alone in your home, her home or in your office. and help means l.i.s.t.e.n.i.n.g. no touching (even hugs can be suspect these days) and for goodness sakes … there should be no pictures exchanged at ALL clothes on or not! we shouldn’t even be discussing that. I don’t care of Mark was wearing a Tuxedo! what on earth was he doing sending a picture of himself to a young woman in HS. our electronic gadgets are taking the place of honest and true relationships. They make it far too easy to step over a boundary and say or do things we would never be caught dead doing in person. sadly, this scenario is played out all over our country — what’s the lesson we can all learn from this tragedy and how can we protect the other kids in our community?

  • A mother of a teen

    All I’m gonna say here is be careful about judging; things are not always as cut and dried as we’d like them to be. I’m not passing blame onto one or the other. Just shine that ol’ spotlight on your soul and see how clean it is. Yep, I thought so.

    There is such a thing as temptation and sin, no matter what your age is. There is also repenting, forgiveness, healing, and redemption. Thank God. It’s for all of us, not just the ‘righteous.’

    What’s that Jesus said? “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    There shouldn’t be anything flying through the air but prayer. The rest is not up to you.

  • Mary

    For all of you supporting Holm, can you please explain to me why he is pleading not guilty when he has admitted to all of the actions against and with this young girl? D o you honestly think that this is the right thing, the Christian thing to do??

  • Joe

    I am suspicious of those who say, “Don’t judge–only God can” within the context of a criminal investation and a trial. Such an attitude suggests that we should wait till the next world for any kind of justice when wrongs have been committed Do people seriously believe this?

  • amen

    Amen to A mother of a teen. Exactly my thoughts. Thank you.

    There is much to this story that is not public knowledge.

    It’s so easy for all of us to put ourselves above one another and think we’re more righteous than the next person, but anyone who knows Jesus knows he didn’t think too highly of that attitude.

    With Holy Week upon us, those of us who consider ourselves Christians should be remembering that Jesus’ great sacrifice wasn’t for the redemption of a few of us, but for forgiveness of ALL, because NONE of us are without sin. We’re all equally unworthy.

  • Jennifer Draper

    I cannot believe all that I have read on this site. First of all, this man is a criminal. I don’t care what other good deeds he did. He had sex with a minor, who by the way was NOT HIS WIFE!! I don’t care how any one dresses, it is up to an adult to be in charge of his own life, morals and faculties. He knew this was wrong, but he did it anyway. What about this case makes you think he didn’t do it? What about the nude graphics, etc. People wake up. Pornography, lack of holiness, thinking about things you ought not to think all lead to this kind of disaster. The victim is under age. The blame belongs with an adult who happened to be a YOUTH worker. It is especially heinous when parents entrust the care of their children to someone who then betrays that trust and ends up MOLESTING them!

  • Mary

    Again I ask all of you “rightous” Christians:
    For all of you supporting Holm, can you please explain to me why he is pleading not guilty when he has admitted to all of the actions against and with this young girl? Do you honestly think that this is the right thing, the Christian thing to do??

  • Jkin

    one bad deed does not erase a life of good deeds, though i know what holmer did was wrong and terrible, i also know he was and is a good man that just got lost along the way… as could happen to anyone of us.. whether it be drugs sex stealing etc… Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Not saying that he shouldn’t be punished for this, because he should, but i just think people should not be so quick to judge.