ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. -- A former youth pastor was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 20 years of probation for sexually touching a 13-year-old girl who came to him for counseling.
“At the end of the day – he got a pretty lenient sentence,” said District Attorney George Brauchler shortly after the judge announced the sentencing.
Christopher Hutchinson, 37, a former youth pastor at South Fellowship Church in Littleton, was convicted by a jury in July of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.
The victim was going through difficult times and turned to her youth pastor at the church for support and counseling.
“In this particular case this was a 13-year-old girl that said ‘I felt vulnerable and that’s why I reached out to this guy’ and this guy exploited that vulnerability,” Brauchler added.
The arrest affidavit details three encounters at local parks between Hutchinson and the victim. The third encounter describes the two laying on the grass when “he rolled on top of her and was straddling her with his hands beside her on the ground and his waist and lower body on her.” It also said that the victim felt his groin area on her.
After the encounters, the affidavit shows a phone conversation between Hutchinson and the victim. He pleads with her not to tell, and when she responds by saying, “I am going to tell my parents”, he says “then I am ruined.”
Prosecutor Leora Joseph said after the sentencing that this case was about more than sexual assault of a child.
“The ‘position of trust’ piece is what this case was about,” she said. “He was asked by the family and the community to give her counsel and support.”
Joseph said that the victim’s family was asking for prison time.
“I believe we also represented many citizens who believe that people that touch children inappropriately should be in prison,” she added.
The judge also ruled that Hutchinson cannot have any contact with children under the age of 18, including his own children. That issue will be further discussed in a court date next month.
Hutchinson has already served 66 of the 90 days of his jail sentence.