Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Ex-youth pastor admits having sex with girl, 14, faces 90 days in jail

LANCE BENZEL Updated: July 5, 2011 at 12:00 am

A former Colorado Springs youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl faces up to 90 days in jail and at least 10 years’ probation under a recent plea agreement with prosecutors, court records show.

Joshua Amoroso, 22, agreed June 30 to plead guilty to one count of sexual assault on a child, a felony.

In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss 17 additional counts related to Amoroso’s three-month relationship with the girl, whom he met while counseling children at Gateway Church in Colorado Springs.

Amoroso was fired after acknowledging the affair, church officials said.

He is scheduled for a Sept. 8 sentencing before 4th Judicial District Judge David Sells, who will decide whether to accept the plea agreement.

Amoroso’s attorney, Ted McClintock of Colorado Springs, couldn’t be reached for comment, and the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office didn't respond to repeated requests for comment on Friday and Tuesday.

The Gazette normally withholds the identities of sex assault victims.

According to police, Amoroso met the teen in August 2010, and began courting her on Facebook.com and through text messages, with Amoroso addressing her as “babe,” “gorgeous” and “sweetheart.”

The girl told police Amoroso first seduced her at her Colorado Springs home while her stepmother was asleep in another room.

Over the course of their relationship, the pair allegedly had sex at Amoroso’s home on North Carefree Circle while his wife was at work, and at the home of a Gateway Church pastor while Amoroso was watching the house.

When confronted by police about a lewd email message, Amoroso initially claimed that he wanted to teach his wife a lesson about spying on his correspondence, police said.

The plea agreement calls for intensive supervised probation for Amoroso, who would be considered a sex offender if the deal gets approved.

If not for the plea agreement, Amoroso would have faced two years to life in prison on the sex assault charge.

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Call the writer at 636-0366.

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