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Brother Worker Sentenced for Sex Crimes






Tim Severud
convicted of sex crimes while in the work

Minnesota brother worker Tim Severud turned himself in to authorities on July 27, 2007, for child molestation, having been caught in the act by a parent of a victim.

Severud was placed in custody at that time, and a criminal complaint was filed.

A settlement conference took place on October 31, 2007. This was a short hearing to determine if there was anything concerning the case which could be resolved before proceeding to trial.

At this hearing Severud entered a guilty plea to Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree in violation of 609.343 subd. 1 (a) ; ref. Subd. 2. Because of the guilty plea entered, he did not have a trial.

The sentencing hearing took place on December 14, 2007, at which time the presiding judge passed sentence. This was a felony charge for which the maximum penalty could have been 25 years imprisonment and/or a $35,000.00 fine.

Severud received the following sentence:

  • 90 month sentence
  • will serve 2/3rds of sentence (60 months) at 'hard time' in the State penitentiary
  • will serve 1/3rd of sentence (30 months) under intensive supervised release. (can be viewed as a type of parole period)
  • will be under the restriction of a 10 year conditional release period.
  • must be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life, with all requirements as such imposed upon him.
  • have a DNA sample on file with the State Crime Data Base.
Minnesota Department of Corrections Offender Information
(available here)
Current Status:Incarcerated
Location:Minnesota Correctional Facility Rush City
Admit Date:12/17/2007
Anticipated Release Date:7/25/2012
Anticipated Release Type:Supervised Release Date
Expiration Date:7/23/2025
Minnesota Statute(s):609 343 1 h 3
609 109 7
County of Conviction:DOUGLAS
Court File Number:CR-07-1050

The following letter was issued to the Minnesota friends by senior workers Lyle Schober and Craig Winquist on August 28, 2007.

Dear Friends,

We have come to the conclusion that it would be wise to inform you of recent developments of one of the Minnesota workers. We are sending this letter to every home on our Minnesota list of friends. Many of you would not have children in your care but may be grandparents or otherwise have special concerns. We have become aware that there is information circulating so we want to end the speculation and give you the facts as we know them.

On July 27th, Tim Severud was arrested and jailed for multiple counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree with a child under the age of 13. Criminal Sexual Assault against a child is categorized as First, Second, Third, Fourth or Fifth Degree, with First Degree being the most serious.

According to the Criminal Complaint, Tim was caught in the act of molesting a 10-year old girl, with another child in the room. The children in the case were female, age ten and under. Tim is currently in jail under the custody of the Douglas County Sheriff's department. Legal proceedings will continue, and the process of the law will determine innocence or guilt in this case. Because of the dangerous nature of these charges, we feel that it is our responsibility to alert to you to this situation at this time.

This letter serves to inform all parents and other caregivers that you should immediately have a conversation with any child in your care who could have been alone with Tim at any time, to determine if inappropriate sexual behavior took place. Molestation can have serious emotional, psychological and spiritual effects on a child, and this issue should be taken very seriously. We also urge you to forward a copy of this letter to the parents or caregivers of any child who may have spent time alone with Tim.

Tim spent a lot of time in the homes of families and was well liked and trusted by parents and children. Some of the alleged crimes that Tim was arrested for took place during what could seen like innocent play to a child. If your child was molested, he or she may be confused about what happened. It's common in these situations for the child to feel that anything inappropriate that happened was somehow their own fault. A pedophile will frequently tell the child that what he does with them is a secret and they should not tell anyone about it.

If you are aware or learn of any inappropriate sexual behavior, you should immediately call the law enforcement authorities in the area it occurred.

In regards to Tim; our concern is the welfare of his soul. He will no longer be in the work here in Minnesota or elsewhere. Tim will not be attending any of our meetings until the legal process and ensuing treatment be completed and only with the approval of those who he may be meeting with.

The enclosed page has some general information about pedophiles.

Sincerely, your brothers in Christ,

(Signed by Craig Winquist and Lyle Schober)

A "traveling minister" was sentenced Friday in Douglas County District Court to 90 months in state prison.

Timothy Knut Severud, 42, pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct for molesting a 10-year-old Alexandria area girl.

Judge Peter Irvine also ordered Severud to register as a sex offender and serve a 10-year conditional release period after his prison term.

As a member of the "church with no name," Severud stayed with families throughout the Midwest while traveling from place to place.

He stayed with the victim's family numerous times during the past several years, said the victim's father in the criminal complaint.

"Oddly enough, I had never heard of this sect of Christianity until this case," said Douglas County Attorney Chris Karpan, adding that members are low-key and don't have homes or churches.

During the sentencing, the girl's father read a "very poignant, well-written" statement, Karpan said; many of the 30 to 40 people in the courtroom were choked up.

Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate Severud and all of the families he has stayed with to ensure there are no other victims, Karpan said.

Here's what happened in this incident, according to the criminal complaint.

On July 23, the girl's parents returned home from the grocery store and didn't see her or their 6-year-old daughter. When the father went into the girls' room, he found Severud on top of his 10-year-old daughter, who was lying on her back, fully clothed, with her legs spread.

Severud was "gyrating... his pelvis juxtaposed over hers" while holding her hands back.

Upon confrontation from the girl's parents, Severud blamed the girls, saying they had been inappropriate with him, adding "there had been inappropriate behavior between him and the girls for quite some time."

In a phone conversation the following day, Severud told the girls' mother "the children had masturbated him."

Severud turned himself in at the law enforcement center on July 27 and admitted inappropriate behavior between him and both girls about six times while he stayed with the family.

He said he "let the kids have their way with him" and that he "fell for a 10-year-old girl."

Sergeant Jackie Notch interviewed both girls on July 27. The 10-year-old girl recounted several incidents of Severud inappropriately touching her, including the July 23 incident. When she had a hard time verbally telling of the abuse, Notch had her demonstrate using anatomically correct dolls.

The girl also said Severud inappropriately touched her several times while swimming together.

In a separate interview, the 6-year-old girl told Notch that Severud hadn't touched her, but had touched her sister's "privates."

About the sect

Members of the "church with no name" refer to each other as friends, saints or truthers; ministers are referred to as workers, servants or laborers.

They are often called "Two by Twos" because of their tradition of sending pairs of missionaries to evangelize. Their ministers have officially registered the group with various government agencies under the name "the Christian Conventions" in the U.S.

The church was founded around 1897-1899 by William Irvine in Ireland. Today, membership is estimated at between 250,000 and 600,000 worldwide.


Chiropractor's former minister convicted of criminal sexual conduct

ALEXANDRIA — A traveling minister who served in the Worthington area was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 10-year-old girl from the Alexandria area.

Timothy Knut Severud, 42, is a minister for a religious sect that technically has no name. Members refer to each other as Friends or Christians, but they are often referred to as "Two by Twos" because of their tradition of sending pairs of missionaries to evangelize. Their ministers have officially registered the group with various government agencies under the name "the Christian Conventions" in the U.S.

Severud was a co-minister in Worthington at the time of his arrest — part of the same religious group as former Worthington chiropractor Lonnie Haken, who was sentenced in early December for first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct against two young girls.

Severud received a much longer sentence than Haken, who was sentenced to 12 months in the county jail followed by intensive in-patient sex offender treatment.

Severud was sentenced to 90 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, according to Douglas County Attorney Christopher Karpan. After Severud's prison sentence is complete, there will be a confinement review to determine his level status, and he will have to consider whether to pursue civilly committing Severud as a predatory offender.

"Trust me," Karpan said Monday, "he's going to go down that path."

Severud was charged just weeks after Haken, and both were in positions of authority over their victims. Haken's two victims were both molested while they were in his care and at least one of the families were members of the church, while Severud's victim was a child in his ministry, and he stayed with them occasionally while traveling.

According to the complaint, the victim's parents came home to find Severud on top of their daughter in her bed. Both were fully clothed. When confronted, Severud blamed the child and her younger sister, stating they had been inappropriate with him on a number of occasions.

He admitted the contact with both children to authorities when questioned.

"Oddly enough, (Severud) said that he 'let the girls have their way with him' and left the impression that he gave in to the girls' inappropriate behavior," the complaint states. He also admitted he "fell for a 10-year-old girl."

The following books were written by people who escaped the 2x2 church!
Elizabeth was born and raised in a nameless and secretive worldwide cult that claims exclusive origin from the New Testament apostolic ministry and blatantly describes all other churches as 'false'. A fourth generation member, she professed faith at the age of sixteen and fully intended to remain there, even when she discovered that the system she believed in was based on a lie. A love story both human and divine, a journey from spiritual bondage to freedom in Christ; this confronting and deeply personal account gives an inside perspective into the mindset of cult members, and reveals the fear and trauma associated with being forced to investigate your own beliefs even if it could mean destroying the very foundations of everything you believe.

The author, Elizabeth Coleman, is one of our moderators at the TLC Forum!
A look inside a worldwide, supposedly nameless religion that meets in homes and rented venues, yet is almost unknown even to many friends and relatives of its members. This book collects accounts of the varied experiences from many former members. Although it has managed to elude public attention for most of its history, this group has been known by various names, both officially taken and nicknames, that include: Two by Twos, the Testimony of Jesus, Meetings in the home, Assemblies of Christians, Christian Conventions, The Truth, the Workers and Friends, the No-name church, the Way, Blackstockings, Die Namelosen, Kristna i Sverige, Non-denominational meetings, Gospel meetings, Les Anonymes, Cooneyites, etc. Revised and expanded second edition.
They meet in homes and in rented halls, presided over by itinerant preachers known as "Workers." This religious fellowship usually goes under the names listed above, although its members vigorously deny that the group bears any name. As to its origins, the group positions itself as being a direct continuation of "the New Testament Church." And even though they deny having any organizational structure, the activities of this nameless sect are world-wide in scope.

It is often very difficult for the outsider to gain any concrete knowledge of this group's doctrine, structure, or history. Reinventing the Truth examines these issues, focusing on the historical explanations the group has offered for its origins.
This secretive group has been called by various names over the years: The Two-by-Twos, White Mice, Black Stockings, Pilgrims, The Meeting, The Workers, The Truth, the Secret Sect, Die Namenlosen, Les Anonymes and many others. But they claim no name of their own. Outside of the group, little has been known of the ways and the diverse belief found among believers in this homespun religion. Here is a book that exposes the origins and the unwritten traditions of the Two-by-Twos. The purpose of this book is to summarize the teachings of this religious group in order to encourage people to draw nearer to and obey God. It is an attempt to bring to light what the workers have tried to hide from the public for over a century. These are doctrines and behaviors that have been observed and learned by an ex-member whose family has been part of the group for five generations, since the founding of the religion in the late 1890s.
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