Youth Pastor Charged With Sex Assault on 14-Year-Old

PHOTO: Joshua Amoroso appears in this photo provided by Colorado Springs Police Department.
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Colorado Springs, Colo., police say they are worried that there may be more victims of a 21-year-old youth pastor accused of sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl.

Justin Amoroso, who was a youth pastor at Gateway Church before the charges surfaced, was arrested Wednesday at the Chapel Hills Mall and booked on a charge of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a felony, the Colorado Springs Police Department said in a statement.

Amoroso allegedly had sex with the girl as many as 15 times at different locations around Colorado Springs, police said.

According to the arrest affidavit, the girl told police they first had sex in Amaroso's home will his wife was at work, in the 14-year-old's home while her step-mother was sleeping and inside the home of the senior pastor of Gateway Church while he and his family were away on vacation.

The arrest affidavit said the two met in August at the church and frequently communicated through Facebook and text messages.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the affidavit said Amoroso and the 14-year-old girl traded some 16,000 text messages from the time they met until his arrest this week.

He frequently called her things like "babe," "gorgeous" and "sweetheart," the affidavit said.

Gateway Church Senior Pastor Derek Sissel told ABC affiliate KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs that Amoroso was dismissed on Oct. 18, when police began investigating the case.

"Gateway Church requires those who minister on its behalf to model right conduct," he said in a statement to KRDO. "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," Sissle said. "We are fully cooperating with law enforcement."

Reporters from KRDO went to the Amoroso's home, but the people who came to the door refused to comment.

Anyone with additional information about other possible victims are asked to contact the Colorado Springs Police Department at 444-7000.

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