A Baptist church minister has been arrested in the United States on multiple child sex abuse charges.

Rev Robert Dando, a senior minister from Worcester Park Baptist Church, was visiting a family friend in Fairfax Virginia when he was arrested on July 23.

Mr Dando has been charged with four counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts for each alleged victim.

He is being held in a jail in Virginia and will appear before Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on September 23.

A spokeswoman for the Baptist Union said that Mr Dando had tendered his resignation from the church with immediate effect.

She said: “The church and the family would welcome some space at this difficult time.”

Mr Dando's wife Janice, who is a national vice-president of the Boys Brigade, would not comment.

A spokesman for the Fairfax County Police Department said Mr Dando had made regular visits of this type since the 1990s.

He said: “In December 2009, a 21-year-old victim of sexual abuse came forward to police. The victim, who was around 8 to 13 years old at the time, alleges he was abused by a visiting family friend between 1995 and 1999.

“Police initiated an investigation and discovered a second victim, now 17 years old, who also alleges he was abused under similar circumstances while he was around 7 or 8 years old.”

In 2005 Mr Dando took up a position as executive assistant to David Coffey, who was then president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA).

Mr Coffey said: “I have to say that I am deeply shocked and very saddened.”

Mr Coffey said he had been in touch with Mr Dando's family who were very distressed.

He added: “I understand the church is being well cared for by the London Baptist Association.”

Mr Coffey said Mr Dando's role was voluntary and he had not been an employee of Mr Coffey or the BWA. Rev Dando's engagement came to an end when he became a pastor of Worcester Park Baptist Church in 2007.

Do you know Rev Dando? Do you attend Worcester Park Baptist Church? Call 020 8330 9544 or email cfox@london.newsquest.co.uk