PARKER, Colo. – A former youth pastor at Crossroads Community Church faces charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, and authorities are looking for more possible victims.
Joshua Clemons, 35, was arrested Tuesday by the Denver Police Department amid an ongoing investigation into allegations he sexually assaulted at least one member of the youth program he led.
Parker police say 18th Judicial District prosecutors have already filed three charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust against him.
Clemons worked as a youth pastor at the Parker church from 2008 through September 2015, the police department said.
Police said there are three incidents that allegedly occurred involving members of his youth group, and that the church brought the information to the department’s attention and was fully cooperating with the investigation.
According to police, the church brought the allegations to police in December 2016, but at the time, Clemons and the girl said they had a consensual relationship and the girl was 18 years old. But after further investigation from the church, it was discovered their relationship started before she was of age.
There were two other girls who were allegedly victims of Clemons', police said.
Parker and Denver police are looking for any possible further victims or witnesses to the alleged abuse. Anyone with information is asked to contact Parker Police Detective Wilson at 303-805-6561 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A photo of Clemons was not immediately available, authorities said.
The church sent the following statement to Denver7 Tuesday evening about the charges:
Statement from Crossroads Community Church Board and Executive Leadership
Feb. 27, 2018
Today, a former youth pastor who was employed from 2006 to 2015 at Crossroads Community Church was arrested on charges related to alleged sexual abuse of three then-minor girls during his tenure at our church.
This arrest stems from allegations revealed to Crossroads on February 1, 2018, which we immediately reported to local law enforcement authorities.
Crossroads Community Church takes any inappropriate behavior with our young members very seriously. We are heartbroken and grieve with those who are victims of sexual assault and their families.
The individual facing charges resigned from Crossroads in 2015, citing work-related stress. In December 2016, the Crossroads Leadership Council was made aware that after he left church employment, he had apparently engaged in a relationship with an 18-year-old female who was formerly a member of his youth group.
Crossroads’ leadership immediately reported this information to local law enforcement, though no laws were alleged to have been broken.
On February 1, 2018, the mother of the young lady we learned about in 2016 contacted us to express her concern that this former youth pastor was being hired by another church in a position to oversee young people. She further informed us that she had recently learned her daughter’s relationship with this man had begun while her daughter was a minor, and that they believed there were other possible victims.
The same day the mother made us aware of these alleged criminal offenses, we immediately reported the new information to local law enforcement authorities and continue to fully cooperate with them during this investigation.
We have been praying for healing and restoration for any victims, known and unknown, and we ask our entire community to do the same.
We encourage anyone with information regarding potential criminal activity, especially any victims, to contact law enforcement immediately. The Parker Police Department may be reached at 303.841.9800, and the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is (844) CO-4-KIDS, or 844.264.5437.
For many years, Crossroads Community Church has had protocols in place—including a national background check that is performed on all employees when they are hired and again every two years—to try to ensure this would not happen. We also have written expectations of employees that include standards of conduct as safeguards for both our employees and those under their care.
In light of this situation, we are conducting a thorough review of our employment procedures and policies to ensure every safeguard is in place to protect anyone, especially young people, from any predatory behavior on our campus or at the hands of any employees or volunteers. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent such behavior, and swift and firm in dealing with any situation known to us.
Clemons also used to work at the International Academy of Denver at Harrington, according to the school, which also sent out a letter to families Tuesday after news of Clemons' arrest broke:
Feb. 27, 2018
Dear International Academy of Denver at Harrington Families,
We have difficult news to share with you about a former teacher, Mr. Joshua Clemons, who resigned from our school in December. Please know that we have no reason to believe any of our students were harmed by Mr. Clemons.
Today, we learned that Mr. Clemons was arrested by Denver Police on charges of sexual assault on a child. In addition, police in Parker also have filed similar charges against Mr. Clemons.
According to police, these crimes occurred between 2008 and 2015, when Mr. Clemons was a youth pastor at Cross Roads Community Church in Parker. Police say these crimes involve members of the youth program he led at the church.
At this time, Denver Police have confirmed they have no reason to believe any of these incidents involved our kids or occurred at our school. As you may know, Mr. Clemons worked at International Academy at Denver at Harrington between August 2016 and December 2017, before resigning to take a position at another church.
It is important to share that Denver and Parker police are looking for any possible witnesses or potential victims. If you have any information that you feel may be helpful to the investigation, please contact Parker Police Detective Wilson at 303.805.6561 or email@example.com.
We know this news may be shocking and we will provide additional counseling supports at our school tomorrow, Wed., Feb. 28. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need support or if you would like guidance if you decide to discuss this matter with your child. Media reports on this story are likely.
Thank you for your support of our kids and our school during this difficult time.
Denver Public Schools