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Tag: Timber Creek Church Colorado Springs

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jonathan Shaheen Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of a Child

jonathan shaheen

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.

Jonathan Shaheen, the former creative pastor at Timber Creek Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was recently sentenced to two years in prison for the sexual exploitation of a child. Shaheen texted a woman about having sex with her and her children, ages nine and five. The mother sent Shaheen explicit photos of her children. Shaheen also sent her nude photos of himself, asking her to share them with the children.

The Gazette reports:

A former Tri-Lakes area pastor was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child. 

Jonathan Shaheen, 31, was accused of receiving sexually explicit images of two underage girls — one 9 and the other 5 years old — from a couple in New Mexico in 2022, according to an arrest affidavit.

The affidavit states that Shaheen expressed interest via text message in having sexual intercourse with the two children as well as their mother, who was sending the photos to Shaheen.

The FBI discovered Shaheen’s contact with the couple in their cellphone while executing a search warrant at the New Mexico couple’s home. 

Shaheen appeared in court Monday afternoon for a sentencing hearing, where Judge Jill Brady was tasked with determining if Shaheen would be given a prison sentence. 

The terms of the plea agreement, according to prosecutor Blake Whitcomb, included the possibility of a two-year stint in the Department of Corrections or an extended stint on sex offender intensive supervised probation (SOISP) with no prison sentence. 

Whitcomb, during the sentencing hearing, advocated strongly for Judge Brady to impose a prison sentence on Shaheen.

To outline the seriousness of Shaheen’s actions, Whitcomb read several of the messages sent by Shaheen to the victims’ mother to the court. In the highly graphic messages, Shaheen writes about his desire to have sexual relations with both of the victims; Whitcomb also notes that Shaheen was sent graphic photos of the victims and sent nude photos of himself that he asked the victims’ mother to show the victims. 

Whitcomb also claimed that he believed it would be appropriate for Shaheen to serve a prison sentence due to a “clear” lack of remorse on his part. 

“(Shaheen) has downplayed his involvement in this,” Whitcomb said to the court. 


In a statement read to the court, Shaheen attempted to tell Brady that he was extremely remorseful for his actions, and that he wishes he had done something to report the New Mexico couple to police. Shaheen also talked to the court about how in his mind it was all “fantasy” and he had no intentions of acting upon the words he was sending to the New Mexico couple. 

Shaheen’s attorney, Joshua Lindley, added that Shaheen’s evaluator recommended probation and labeled his client as low-risk of reoffending. 

After hearing Shaheen’s lengthy statement, Brady decided that the accountability Shaheen was attempting to show was not enough. 

“The accountability stops a little short in many ways,” Brady said. “I don’t think Mr. Shaheen fully grasps this.” 

Speaking directly to Shaheen, Brady talked about how the defendant was a “very willing” participant in the crime, and expressing remorse over not reporting it to the police wasn’t enough. 

Brady also addressed Shaheen’s statement that the texts were “just a fantasy,” disagreeing strongly with that claim. 

“(The messages sent by Shaheen) really do not make it seem like it was just a fantasy,” Brady said. 

Brady went on to sentence Shaheen to two years in the Department of Corrections with a mandatory three years parole upon release.

Shaheen was arrested by deputies just moments after Brady sentenced him. 

According to a now deleted LinkedIn profile under the same name, Shaheen was employed as the general manager of the School of Rock in northern Colorado Springs and has worked as a pastor at TimberCreek Church.

Someone explain to me how in the world Shaheen only got a two-year sentence. Low risk of reoffending? Really?

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser