Alleged molestation by former AF chaplain spanned 18 years

September 20, 2012
photo - David Grosse Photo by
David Grosse Photo by  

When retired Air Force chaplain David Grosse was alone in his Colorado Springs home with a preteen girl, he criticized her ignorance of sex and sought to coach her through molestation, according to court documents.

Grosse, 78, was arrested Tuesday by Colorado Springs police on suspicion of sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. A social services agency in North Carolina referred the girl’s case to Colorado Springs police on July 3. Detectives have since identified three other victims; the molestations happened at various times over the past 18 years, according to Grosse’s arrest warrant.

Grosse served as an Air Force chaplain from 1964 until 1993, and had assignments across the United States, according to a biography about him listed in a Church of the Nazarene student guide published in 2006. After his 1993 retirement as colonel, Grosse lived in Monument and eventually settled in Colorado Springs with his wife, according to the biography.

Grosse allegedly sexually abused the girls in his Monument and Colorado Springs homes, according to court documents. The main victim told investigators that Grosse sought to teach her “not to be so shy about her body,” before he began touching her as the two sat on Grosse’s couch. The incident happened when the girl was between the ages of 11 and 13, sometime between 2010 and 2012, the girl told investigators. But it was hardly the first time Grosse had brought up sex or touched her, the documents allege.

Grosse’s assaults on the girl happened “numerous times at each of (Grosse’s) homes” in Colorado Springs, Monument, and Nathrop, and he “sexually abused her nearly everytime she saw him, or ‘any time the opportunity presented itself to him’,” the affidavit said. The girl told investigators that the assaults started when she was four years old and continued until she was 11. Grosse fondled the girl, touched and kissed her inappropriately, as well as frequently asked her to hold his penis while he peed.

The girl was told to keep the encounters a secret, according to the affidavit. “This is a special time we share,” Grosse told her. “This is something special that goes on between us and you can’t tell anybody and you’re not gonna tell anybody because that would hurt me.”

The affidavit describes Grosse’s encounters with three other girls, in 2003 or 2005, and in 1994 and 1995.

On Aug. 28, one of victims confronted Grosse about the abuse over the phone, and Grosse expressed regret for his behavior, which he viewed as inappropriate, the affidavit said. The victim asked Grosse why he had targeted her — Grosse responded that he was learning, and that she had been a learning experience.

Contact Ryan Maye Handy: 636-0261

Twitter @ryanmhandy

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