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Boulder police have accused a Colorado senior pastor of covering up information about a youth pastor who allegedly sexually assaulted a female church attendee starting when she was 15.
Walt Roberson was out of the country when police first announced charges for four members of Vinelife Church's pastoral and elder teams. Jason Allen Roberson, 35, Vinelife Church's youth pastor and the son of Walt, was arrested in September on charges that he sexually abused a former church member and emplyoyee who was underage when the abuse began.
Walt is due on court on Dec. 9 and the church's executive pastor Robert Phillip "Bob" Young must report later this month, according to The Daily Camera. Church elder Warren Lloyd Williams is set to appear on Jan. 6 while pastors Luke Humbrecht and Edward Bennell have no court dates set yet.
Police have charged Roberson with "one count of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust; one count of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of unlawful sexual contact," according to 7NEWS. The Boulder County District Attorney office later "added one count of stalking."
According to police reports disclosed by The Daily Camera, the victim's relationship with Jason began after she expressed an interest in working at Vinelife. The victim and youth pastor allegedly began texting and Jason also invited "her to coffee or lunch and would confide in her about his home life and his depression."
The victim said their sexual relationship began in 2007 and claimed that Jason touched her at least 10 times before she turned 18. When she went to college, the victim also asserted that he would spontaneously stop by her dorm room.
When the victim got engaged in 2010, her fiancé informed Jason about the abuse, the same year that police records claim that the youth pastor informed his father about the allegations.
The victim went to police in April 2013 because of concerns that Vinelife "will not take this matter seriously and will allow Jason to continue in his position, where he has access to children." She had previously confronted Vinelife leadership in March, where the church had begun to conduct its own internal investigation.
In a statement from earlier this fall, the church said it had stayed quiet about the allegations because "it was the understanding of the Church leadership that the former employee did not want this matter to be made public."
"[The victim] trusted [Jason] as an authority figure and spiritual guide, and felt uncomfortable disclosing the relationship to others," police said at the time.
Under a polygraph, Jason admitted groping the alleged victim while she was under the age of 18, saying that he had touched her breasts though he did not clarify whether she had been over or under the age of consent.
The Christian Post's calls to Vinelife Church were not returned by press time.