ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A metro-area youth pastor was sentenced to 50 years in prison for assaulting two teenage boys in his Englewood apartment.
Joseph Potts, 33, pleaded guilty in September to two felonies: sexual exploitation of a child and first-degree assault.
Other counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
“There is likely a special place in hell for those who satisfy their lascivious sexual desires under the guise of being a youth pastor,” District Attorney George Brauchler said in a statement. “We can, at best, protect ourselves from him in this life. His true sentence awaits him in the next.”
The boys were 14 and 15 at the time of the alleged crimes, which occurred in 2017 when Potts was a youth pastor at Jubilee Fellowship Church.
“Potts befriended the teenagers and invited them to stay overnight at his apartment to play video games. When they got there, Potts had them watch pornography. He then initiated lewd acts with them, which resulted in sexual assaults,” the DA’s office said.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy DA Danielle Jaramillo.
“Mr. Potts is the most dangerous type of criminal. He used a religious position of leadership in order to gain the trust of parents so that he had access to their children. These parents trusted that their children would be safe when alone with the defendant, and he took advantage of that trust in the worst way,” she said. “This sentence is due to the bravery and courage of two boys who were willing to come forward and disclose what happened to them. If not for them, Mr. Potts would have done this again to other children. They truly are heroes.”
Potts must register as a sex offender.