Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Joshua Clemons Facing Sexual Assault Charges

joshua clemons

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Joshua Clemons, youth pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Parker, Colorado, stands accused of sexually assaulting a minor church girl.

ABC-7 reports:

A former youth pastor at Crossroads Community Church faces charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, and authorities are looking for more possible victims.

Joshua Clemons, 35, was arrested Tuesday by the Denver Police Department amid an ongoing investigation into allegations he sexually assaulted at least one member of the youth program he led.

Parker police say 18th Judicial District prosecutors have already filed three charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust against him.

Clemons worked as a youth pastor at the Parker church from 2008 through September 2015, the police department said.

Police said there are three incidents that allegedly occurred involving members of his youth group, and that the church brought the information to the department’s attention and was fully cooperating with the investigation.

According to police, the church brought the allegations to police in December 2016, but at the time, Clemons and the girl said they had a consensual relationship and the girl was 18 years old. But after further investigation from the church, it was discovered their relationship started before she was of age.

There were two other girls who were allegedly victims of Clemons’, police said.

….

Crossroads Community Church released the following statement:

Statement from Crossroads Community Church Board and Executive Leadership

Feb. 27, 2018

Today, a former youth pastor who was employed from 2006 to 2015 at Crossroads Community Church was arrested on charges related to alleged sexual abuse of three then-minor girls during his tenure at our church.

This arrest stems from allegations revealed to Crossroads on February 1, 2018, which we immediately reported to local law enforcement authorities.

Crossroads Community Church takes any inappropriate behavior with our young members very seriously. We are heartbroken and grieve with those who are victims of sexual assault and their families.

The individual facing charges resigned from Crossroads in 2015, citing work-related stress. In December 2016, the Crossroads Leadership Council was made aware that after he left church employment, he had apparently engaged in a relationship with an 18-year-old female who was formerly a member of his youth group.

Crossroads’ leadership immediately reported this information to local law enforcement, though no laws were alleged to have been broken.

On February 1, 2018, the mother of the young lady we learned about in 2016 contacted us to express her concern that this former youth pastor was being hired by another church in a position to oversee young people. She further informed us that she had recently learned her daughter’s relationship with this man had begun while her daughter was a minor, and that they believed there were other possible victims.

The same day the mother made us aware of these alleged criminal offenses, we immediately reported the new information to local law enforcement authorities and continue to fully cooperate with them during this investigation.

We have been praying for healing and restoration for any victims, known and unknown, and we ask our entire community to do the same.

We encourage anyone with information regarding potential criminal activity, especially any victims, to contact law enforcement immediately. The Parker Police Department may be reached at 303.841.9800, and the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is (844) CO-4-KIDS, or 844.264.5437.

For many years, Crossroads Community Church has had protocols in place—including a national background check that is performed on all employees when they are hired and again every two years—to try to ensure this would not happen. We also have written expectations of employees that include standards of conduct as safeguards for both our employees and those under their care.

In light of this situation, we are conducting a thorough review of our employment procedures and policies to ensure every safeguard is in place to protect anyone, especially young people, from any predatory behavior on our campus or at the hands of any employees or volunteers. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent such behavior, and swift and firm in dealing with any situation known to us.

ABC-7 reports:

The affidavit states that Clemons and the alleged victim knew each other since the girl was in fifth grade, but they didn’t begin a sexual relationship until September 2014 – when she was 17 years old.

The alleged victim told police that Clemons had admitted to kissing two other girls in the youth group but police didn’t provide any further details about those incidents.

The investigation began in February 2018, when the pastor at Crossroads Community Church informed police that the church learned of the relationship between Clemons and the alleged victim in December 2016. But Clemons claimed at the time that the affair didn’t begin until October 2015, several months after the girl turned 18.

The pastor reported the case in 2016 because he was concerned that the relationship had actually started when she was a minor, the affidavit states. At the time, police said no crime had been committed.

The pastor then went back to police in February of this year after hearing from the alleged victim’s mother, who was concerned that Clemons was being hired as a youth pastor by another church, according to a statement from church leadership.

In an interview with police a few days later, the alleged victim said she and Clemons first had sexual intercourse in June 2015 when she was a 17-year-old senior in high school, but they had kissed and had other sexual contact before then. Clemons was married at the time but told the girl that he wanted to divorce his wife to be with her, the affidavit states.

Clemons knew the girl was underage and even gave her a card with a message along the lines of “We’re legal” on her 18th birthday, according to the affidavit.

The relationship continued when the alleged victim graduated from high school and enrolled at Colorado State University, the affidavit states. The alleged victim told police that Clemons visited her almost daily and the two continued to have sex regularly.

At one point, Clemons went to a pharmacy and bought Plan B – the so-called “morning after pill” — and made the alleged victim take the medication.

The relationship ended in late 2017, the affidavit states, at which point the alleged victim said Clemons started “stalking” her and showing up at her new church. The alleged victim threatened Clemons with a restraining order, according to the affidavit.

….

Clemons’ church bio states:

I love the Broncos, ALL other Colorado Sports teams, and Batman. I eat hot cakes from McDonalds every single day, I’m a native of Colorado, and I got my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Metro (I wanted to be more like Batman), followed by a Master of Divinity degree with a specialization in Youth and Family at Denver Seminary. I love students and want to be more like Jesus everyday! In 2008 I married my lovely wife, Julia, a doctor in Denver hospitals. We have one other member of our family, Tulo (our super dog!). I have been loving on students at Crossroads since 2006.

“Loving on students” has a whole new meaning now that Clemons is facing sexual assault charges. Evidently, his criminal justice classes didn’t teach him that having sexual relations with minors and people you have authority over is a crime.

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