A 69-year-old Ocean View man awaiting trial for allegedly molesting two underage girls was a deacon and youth mentor for a church in the remote Ka‘u community for at least a part of the time the abuse was alleged to have occurred.
Nicholas “Nick” Krivanek was “removed” from those positions at Ocean View Evangelical Community Church after “he confessed” to the church’s elders in 2011, according to Larry Fisher, who was secretary of the elders at that time.
“I’m not sure the church (congregation) was informed until after he was arrested,” Fisher said on Tuesday. “The pastor informed every church member after he was arrested a couple of Sundays ago.” Fisher said the meeting took place after Sunday service.
Fisher said Krivanek is “still a member of the church.”
“One of the conditions was that he not have anything to do with children,” Krivanek said.
Krivanek was indicted last month on two counts of continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14. He was arrested at his home on June 4 and pleaded not guilty on June 5 before Kona Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra, who set trial for Oct. 22 at 9 a.m.
He remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center, unable to post $50,000 bail.
According to the document, there were two victims, identified only by their initials.
The indictment alleges that the molestation of one victim occurred between June 21, 2007, and July 19, 2011, and the molestation of the second victim allegedly occurred between Jan. 1, 2009, and July 19, 2011.
The document states that Krivanek “did intentionally, knowingly, or reckless engage in three or more acts of sexual penetration or sexual contact” with each victim when they were younger than 14. Neither the ages or the dates of birth of the victims were specified.
“The victims did know him because of the church,” Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Burleson said Tuesday. “I don’t know if they are members of the church themselves.”
Fisher described Krivanek’s role as a youth mentor as “not an official title.” He said that Krivanek drove children to church activities that their parents couldn’t or didn’t want to provide transportation to.
“He drove them to church services, to Sunday school, to vacation Bible school, things like that,” Fisher said. He said that the white-haired and bearded Krivanek also played Santa Claus for church functions.
Asked about victims, Fisher referred to only one girl, whom he described as “not a member, but she was an attendee of the church.” He said that Krivanek was “not allowed to come to the church for awhile, but then he was welcomed back.”
Fisher said the girl no longer attends services or Bible school at the church.
The Tribune-Herald left a phone message for the church’s pastor, David Johnson, on Tuesday afternoon, but it was not returned as of press time. Fisher said that Johnson was on vacation and was not at the church.
First-degree sexual assault and continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14 are Class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Third-degree sexual assault is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
A search of Hawaii court records turned up no criminal convictions for Krivanek, and he is not listed in the state’s sex offender registry. He’s also not listed in the sex offender registry in Idaho, where he used to live, nor in the national sex offender database.
The 2011 Ocean View Evangelical Community Church directory states that the church was founded by the late Mennonite missionaries Eldon and Emma Roth in 1969. The church affiliated with the Baptist General Conference as a mission church in 1988 and became an independent church in December 2005, the directory states.