A former pastor in Douglas County, Colorado, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust. Joshua Clemons has reportedly been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl who was a member of his church and its youth programme.
According to the arrest affidavit, the suspect gave the teen a birthday card when she turned 18 years old which included the message, "We're legal."
Clemons, who was married at the time, began a relationship with the girl which lasted from September 2014 through to late 2017. He allegedly had sexual relations with the victim at his home multiple times and even visited her after she graduated from school and moved away to college at Colorado State University. KMGH-TV reported that the relationship finally ended after the girl claimed that he started "stalking" her.
The 35-year-old reportedly claimed that he planned on divorcing his wife in order to be with the victim. According to the New York Post, he also made the teen take contraception pills to prevent any unwanted pregnancies.
The case came to light when the victim spoke about the relationship to another individual at a church retreat. The person contacted the local police to warn them considering that Clemons was still working closely with the youth.
The Denver Post reported that the pastor has also been charged with sexually assaulting two other teens while he worked with the Cross Roads Community Church from 2008 to 2015.