Horror Show Thursday: Culture of Secrecy

There’s a conspiracy afoot in Boulder, Colorado, as police find a disturbing culture of secrecy within a church as it tries to cover up the sexual misdeeds of a youth pastor at the VineLife Church.

in 2013, Youth Pastor Jason Roberson was arrested and charged with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust when the woman reported to police that she had been part of a relationship that started when she was 15 and continued for 7 years.  Roberson plead guilty and was put in prison for two years in 2014.  The police also charged Roberson’s father and another pastor, Luke Humbrecht, for knowing about the abuse yet failing to report it to authorities.

However, this goes a lot deeper, as police also ended up charging many of the church’s clergy with similar charges.  They all knew about the illegal affair, yet did nothing to stop it and did not report it to the police.  Pastor Robert Young, as well as church elders Warren Williams and Edward Bennell, are being charged with a class 3 misdemeanor, which usually carries a relatively light penalty, but because they refused to accept any responsibility for their actions, prosecutors are requesting the harshest penalty available, up to 8 days in jail and 100 hours of community service.

According to prosecutors, “At the heart of this case is a local church’s coordinated effort to conceal a victim’s report of repeated acts of sexual abuse — perpetrated by a youth pastor, the son of one of the church’s elders — from the church’s own congregation, the local community and law enforcement in Boulder County.”  Pastors routinely gave sermons that encouraged the congregation to forgive “the repentant” and essentially told them to keep their mouths shut.  The criminal’s father, church Elder Walter Roberson, said in an e-mail, “the decisions we make are under His (God’s) authority, not human government.”

This led prosecutors to issue a memorandum which reads: “The defendants have gone to great lengths to minimize any personal accountability for what occurred in this case. Since the defendants continue to refuse to take responsibility for their decisions to ignore their duties as mandatory reporters, the people request a sentence that will give the defendants ample opportunity to reflect upon their choices and to prevent this situation from occurring in the future.”

It’s bad enough you have pastors molesting minors, but when their entire church is in on the cover-up and apparently sees nothing wrong with hiding it from the proper authorities, that lands the case on Horror Show Thursday, right where it belongs.




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