DENVER — A Westminster pastor already charged with sexually assaulting a teenager over three years is now facing accusations from three more victims.
Gerald Clark, 51, was supposed to have his preliminary hearing Friday.
Instead, his attorney asked for more time to prepare for these new allegations.
Investigators say Clark met the three new victims through “church associations—some through his work as a pastor at Jericho Ministries International that met at a Broomfield clubhouse at 110 Greenway Dr.
Clark left court Friday with a crowd of supporters—none uttered a single word.
But three young females have been talking—to criminal investigators.
“When one person has the courage and personal power to say, ‘this is what happened and it shouldn’t have happened.’ Then, it give others the courage to step forward and say, ‘me too,” says Jeb Barrett of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Friday, the court levied five more charges including sex assault by one in a position of trust and unlawful sexual contact against the pastor. The new charges are related to three new victims. This brings to four the number of people he’s accused of assaulting.
One of them is a juvenile.
The other two new victims are 18 and 19 years old.
All of them met the pastor through church.
“We always look at a clergyman as being a representative of a deity or God. And there’s a tremendous amount of denial about it–that he couldn’t have possibly done this,” says Barrett.
He was abused by a priest when he was a teen. Now, he heads up Colorado’s SNAP chapter.
He knows the emotional turmoil victims endure when a man of God allegedly commits sin.
“What he has done is not only immoral, but it’s criminal,” says Barrett.
Clark was already charged last month with sex assault on a child for allegedly abusing a 13-year-old who lived with Clark and his wife at their home for three summers.
“It makes it more difficult to see behavior as abuse when the person is in a position of power or authority,” says Jennifer Stith, of Wings Foundation.
The organization helps adults who were sexually abused as children.
It says kids can blame themselves even when they don’t know what’s happening.
“They freeze. They accommodate the abuse which happens over a long period of time but it doesn’t mean they’re consenting. They are not able to consent,” says Stith.
And it seems Clark may understand may understand that. He told police, “You know, we all do things we regret.”
Both groups say coming forward will eventually lead to healing.
“These girls are in the very early stages of finally telling somebody, finally reporting it. And I just applaud them for their courage,” says Barrett.
The new juvenile victim is friends with the original victim who moved to Wisconsin.
Clark is due back in court for a preliminary hearing May 30 at 1:30 p.m.