Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Throw a Stone if You Don’t Sin: Youth Pastors and Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Feb 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

A youth pastor was charged with a sex crime. Read more in our blog.
It's in the news all the time – a leader in a youth ministry has been caught committing sexual crimes (such as Unlawful Sexual Contact – C.R.S. 18-3-404) with a young person in Douglas, Adams, or Jefferson County. Sometimes we get caught up in the media frenzy – how dare a leader take advantage of the very child they were supposed to be mentoring! I want to offer you a challenge: The next time you read an article about a youth pastor or counselor who has been charged with a sex crime against a child, stop and think before you judge. Isn't this what Jesus called us to do? “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…” (John 8:7) It's difficult to do when allegations involve sexual crimes against children, but this doesn't take away from the fact we are to avoid judgment. Let's look at a couple of reasons it's wise to question what you read: [pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”60%”]Stop and think before you judge.[/pullquote]

The Media's Agenda: Guilty Before Proven Innocent

The article you are reading is printed by the media. The media stays in business because people read their content. People read content which is shocking and gossipy. Therefore, the media will twist situations into the story which creates the most shock value. When a youth pastor has been charged with a crime, realize they have been charged, not convicted. We have represented more than one youth leader who was found not guilty once the whole story was told. After this not guilty, the media did not publish news of the acquittal. The media acts as if they are guilty before any evidence has been revealed. Think about it: In every news story there is a headline with the person's name and the crime they are accused of. Do you think anyone stops and thinks the person might be innocent?

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”60%”]Many of the children, teens, and adults youth pastors work with have extremely troubled pasts.[/pullquote]

Youth Pastors Often Work with At-Risk Children and Adults

Youth pastors and ministry leaders often work with troubled children and adults. Consider this fact. Many of the children, teens, and adults pastors work with have extremely troubled pasts. This means they are manipulative, needy, selfish, wounded, and desperate. Many of them have been sexually assaulted by their own families in their past. So, when you hear about a youth pastor who has sexually assaulted one of their students – take it with a grain of salt, and realize who they are working with. Untruthful allegations are common and our courts favor the “victim.” A person can be convicted of a sex crime in Denver, Larimer, and Arapahoe County without any physical evidence. The conviction often rests on the shoulders of a troubled, desperate teenager's word.

Unlawful Sexual Contact: Easily Committed, but Serious Consequences

This past summer, there was a youth pastor / leader who was charged with Unlawful Sexual Contact. According to reports, the man exposed himself multiple times to a woman (she was an adult, not a child), and made her commit sex acts. It's important to know how easy it is to be charged with Unlawful Sexual Contact in Colorado. A person will face charges if they knowingly touch someone's “intimate parts,” or knowingly touch the “clothing covering the immediate area” of the “intimate parts” if the sexual contact is for the purpose of sexual gratification. Grabbing someone's butt qualifies as Unlawful Sexual Contact, which is a sex offense requiring registration. In the pastor's case, the alleged victim was said to be in an “extremely vulnerable state.” If this is the case, she could have been ok with the contact, but then changed her mind later. She was emotionally unstable, after all.

Don't Throw Stones: Seek the Truth and Respond with Compassion

I hope I have been able to make my point. We need to be careful how we react to the articles we read about youth pastors and leaders who have been charged with sex crimes. The comments on such articles are always filled with hate, anger, and sometimes murderous threats. We do not know the details – we don't know the alleged victim's state of mind – and we don't know the circumstances. How dare we throw stones?

Request a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one is a youth pastor or leader and has been charged with a sex crime such as Unlawful Sexual Contact, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880, or submit the “Get Help Now” form. Together, we can protect your future.

Image Courtesy of suphakit73 /

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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