ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. -- A former Colorado youth pastor was sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail and 20 years of sex offender supervised probation in connection with a sex assault case involving a 13-year-old girl he met at church.
Christopher Hutchinson, 37, was convicted July 29 of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.
At the time of his arrest, Hutchinson was a youth pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Parker. But he held the same position at South Fellowship Church in Littleton, where he met the 13-year-old girl.
Prosecutors told Denver7 the victim was going through some tough times and sought counsel and support from the then pastor, who betrayed his position of trust.
Hutchison reportedly urged her to meet him at local parks, where he inappropriately touched her.
The victim even testified in the trial, saying she was having suicidal thoughts when she sought his counseling.
Though prosecutors requested Hutchinson be sentenced to between four years and life in prison, there was no mandatory prison time for the charges Hutchinson was convicted on, and it was left up to Judge Natalie Chase to decide what his punishment would be.
She decided to give him 90 days to be followed by 20 years of supervised probation, which will include internet monitoring, random checks by probation officers and therapy.
Managing Chief District Attorney Leora Joseph said Hutchinson should have been jailed.
“I believe that we also represented many citizens who believe that people who touch children inappropriately should be in prison,” Joseph said.
District Attorney George Brauchler also said he disagreed with Chase’s sentencing decision.
“The defendant early on was offered a plea deal. He could have accepted responsibility for his actions and admitted he needed help. He could have spared a 13-year-old girl who he victimized the trauma of being on the witness stand,” Brauchler said in a news release. “Instead, his defense deliberately attacked her credibility, calling her a liar and basically throwing her under the bus. He denied that his conduct was sexual in nature or for sexual gratification until after the jury found him guilty. The office does not consider him to be a good candidate for probation.”