Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Klint Bitter Charged With Sexual Assault of a Child


Klint Bitter, pastor of kids and student ministry at Christ Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska, was charged today with first-degree sexual assault of a child.

WOWT-6 reports:

A former youth pastor at a west Omaha church is now in jail, accused of having sex with a 15-year old prostitute.

Klint Bitter turned himself in at the Sarpy County Jail Tuesday. He’s charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child. The 34-year-old allegedly answered an online ad posted by a sex trafficking suspect in Bellevue.

Bitter was a pastor of kids and student ministry at Christ Community Church near 108th and Harney. Church officials said Bitter has been fired from that position.

KETV-7 adds:

Sarpy County authorities say Klint Andrew Bitter, 34, is held without bond on one felony count of sexual assault.

A criminal complaint says the victim is 15-year old girl and that Bitter assaulted her in the parking lot of an abandoned supermarket in Bellevue on February 27th, 2017.

….

KETV NewsWatch 7 has learned Bitter’s arrest is part of a wider investigation into human trafficking. In March 2017, a Bellevue West High School student was charged with first-degree sexual assault and human trafficking based on an investigation that began on February 27th.

The Omaha World Herald reports:

A 34-year-old former youth pastor will stand trial in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

Klint Bitter appeared in Sarpy County Court on Wednesday morning and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Judge Robert Wester set Bitter’s bail at $1 million and ordered Bitter not to have contact with anyone 18 or younger.

….

Sarpy County Deputy Attorney Phil Kleine told the judge Bitter contacted DeArch Stubblefield online to set up a meeting with the girl. In asking for a high bail, Kleine compared Bitter’s case to co-defendants Stubblefield and Jason Gibson.

….

Thomas Petersen, Bitter’s attorney, asked for a $150,000 bail and told the judge Bitter saw the ad on Craigslist and then emailed to ask if the girl was 18.

Update

Today, October 20, 2017,  the Bellvue Leader reports that Bitter has been released from jail after posting ten-percent of his $1 million bond:

Bitter, 34, of Omaha, appeared in Sarpy County Court on Wednesday morning and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Judge Robert Wester set Bitter’s bail at $1 million and ordered Bitter not to have contact with anyone 18 years or younger. He was released later Wednesday after posting 10 percent of that bail, $100,000.

Sarpy County Deputy Attorney Phil Kleine told the judge that Bitter contacted DeArch Stubblefield, then 18, to set up a meeting with the girl. Bitter’s attorney said he was responding to a Craigslist ad. A criminal complaint said the offense took place near the intersection of Fort Crook and Childs Roads on Feb. 27.

That same day, Bellevue police said they began an investigation into a report of possible human trafficking, which led to the March arrest of Stubblefield.

In asking for a high bail, Kleine compared Bitter’s case to co-defendants Stubblefield and Jason Gibson, who was charged March 9 with the same offense as Bitter. Stubblefield was initially held on no bail and Gibson was held on $2 million bail.

Gibson, 41, later pleaded no contest to attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child. He will be sentenced next month and faces up to 50 years in prison.

And on Wednesday, Stubblefield pleaded guilty to attempted human trafficking, attempted aiding and abetting first-degree sexual assault of a child, and possession of child pornography. Prosecutors dropped an additional charge of child abuse. He faces a maximum of 72 years when sentenced in December.

Thomas Petersen, Bitter’s attorney, asked Wednesday for a $150,000 bail amount. He told the judge that Bitter emailed after seeing the Craigslist ad to ask if the girl was 18.

n asking for a lower bail amount, Petersen also said his client is married with children, owns a home, is college educated and until recently was employed as a pastor.
Mark Ashton, lead pastor at Christ Community Church, said Bitter worked for the church for seven years and was in charge of the church’s kids and student ministries.

….

Update

Bitter’s co-defendant, Jason Gibson, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child and received a six-month jail sentence. Gibson must also serve five years probation and register as a sex offender.

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