Affidavit: Pastor accused of sexual relationship with teen claims she was of legal age
BOULDER, Colo. — A youth pastor accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage church member confirmed that sexual behavior took place, but stopped short of agreeing that it happened when the girl was underage, according to an arrest affidavit.
Jason Roberson, a youth pastor at Vinelife Church in unincorporated Boulder County, was arrested last week after a 23-year-old woman reported that Roberson had shown her a picture of his penis, touched her breasts and watched her undress on multiple occasions between 2005 and 2007, when she was younger than 18. She alleged that Roberson engaged in a pattern of emotional manipulation and abused his position of authority, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states that Roberson, now 35, confirmed to police that he fondled the teen several times and twice watched her change clothes, but he claimed that the activity happened after she turned 18 and was consensual.
Police found that Vinelife church elders met with the alleged victim in March of 2013, and launched an internal inquiry into the situation immediately after. Roberson then confessed to elders that he had touched the teen, but was unclear about when the contact happened, according to the affidavit.
Elders subsequently asked him to take a polygraph test, in which he appeared to verify that the teen was 17 during at least one of the incidents. He also appeared to believe that she touched his genitals and buttocks through his clothes by her own choice, according to reports obtained by investigators.
Polygraphy is considered unreliable by many scientists and criminology experts. Polygraph results are generally not admissible as evidence in the state of Colorado.
Police say Roberson was a close friend of the victim’s family and they say he allegedly admitted to the relationship when confronted by the victim and family friends. He stands charged with sexual assault of a minor, sexual exploitation of a child, and unlawful sexual contact.
But last week, Roberson’s neighbors in Firestone questioned the charges.
“You wonder if that is the truth or not. There’s two sides to the story,” neighbor Mike told FOX31 Denver.
Video on Roberson’s YouTube page shows what neighbors say is Roberson playing guitar with his daughter, who is a freshman in high school.
Neighbors said they trusted Roberson around their kids and that he never once acted inappropriately.
“I don’t see that happening, just because I have older daughters too and he was really kind…and I just don’t see that,” said Maryann Sigala, another neighbor.