Church Pastor Accused Of Sex Assault On Young Parishioner
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)- A church pastor has been accused of sexually assaulting a young member of his congregation. The girl claims it’s happened dozens of times starting when she was just 13 years old.
Pastor Gerald Clark was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. Investigators claim he used that trust to begin a pattern of abuse that lasted for years.
“He seemed like a family guy. There were always people in and out. He seemed very helpful. There were always teenagers,” said one of Clark’s neighbors.
The young woman who said Clark, 51, sexually abused her, looked up to him as a pastor and even a father figure.
According to the arrest affidavit, “She would call Gerald ‘Daddy…’ [The victim] aspired to be on the church’s ministry team and begin helping out at Gerald and [his wife's] house on a weekly basis in 2009.”
Clark met the young woman and her family at Victory Church. They then followed Clark to Jericho Ministries International which Clark runs out of his Westminster home.
When the alleged victim’s family moved out of state the Clarks allowed the teen to live with them over the summers and around Christmas.
She told police the sexual abuse occurred “approximately 30 to 50 times between 2009 and 2012.” She was 13 to 16 years old at the time.
She told police she confronted Clark about the abuse in 2012 and he stopped.
No one answered the door at Clark’s home and the Jericho Ministries International phone number has been disconnected.
“It’s very disturbing. I don’t believe it’s just across the street,” said one neighbor.
Neighbors said they are shocked and concerned by the arrest of Clark who is a father and grandfather.
“It bothers me a lot. It makes me angry,” said another neighbor.
CBS4 reporter Brooke Rogers talked with Clark’s wife off camera. She was visibly emotional and told her the accusations were false.
Police in Westminster said they believe there is only one victim in this case but if anyone has any information about Clark to call Westminster Police Department.