Affidavit: Youth Pastor Traded 16K Texts, Calls With Teen Victim

Pastor: “Hey Baby! I Love You So Much,” Affidavit States

A Colorado Springs youth pastor traded more than 16,000 text messages and phone calls with a 14-year-old girl he is accused of sexually assaulting, according to an arrest affidavit.

“Hey baby! I love you so much,” 21-year-old youth pastor Joshua Paul Amoroso wrote in an e-mail to the girl who attended Gateway Church, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported Friday.

Amid the affidavit allegations are that Amoroso first had sex with the girl at her home while her stepmother slept and later at Amoroso's home while his wife was at work, the newspaper reported.

The girl told police the pair also had sex several times in the home of Gateway Senior Pastor, Derek Sissel, while Amoroso was house-sitting for the vacationing Sissel family, the affidavit said.

A detective went to Amoroso’s house to verify the girl’s description of its blue walls and blue bedding during an interview with a sexual assault counselor, the affidavit said.

Colorado Springs police arrested Amoroso at the Chapel Hills Mall Wednesday on suspicion of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, police said. Investigators said they are concerned there may be more victims.

Police said phone records from a three-month period ending Nov. 1 are part of the electronic trail that police say tie Amorosa to the girl, the newspaper reported.

The pair met at the church in August and began communicating on and through text messages, in which Amoroso gradually began calling her “babe,” “gorgeous” and “sweetheart,” the affidavit said.

When confronted by Sissel, Amoroso initially claimed that he sent the e-mail proclaiming his love to the girl because he suspected his wife was spying on him, the affidavit said.

Church officials said they fired Amoroso Oct. 18 after he acknowledged the affair and the police investigation was launched, the affidavit said.

"Gateway Church requires those who minister on its behalf to model right conduct," said Derek Sissel, senior pastor at Gateway Church, in a statement to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs. "It, therefore, will not tolerate the conduct of any minister who exploits a person he is supposed to serve. Please pray for any person hurt by the recent circumstances, and pray for our Church. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement."