No doubt there are many fine youth pastors and church volunteers in Colorado Springs -- ones who aren't creepy molesters looking for a chance to diddle underage victims. But Charles Jenkins is the third person with such a job on his résumé to be either arrested or convicted for sexual assault on a child in recent months. How did he earn his 24 year sentence?
According to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, Jenkins was quizzed by Jeffco deputies during a late November traffic stop. At the time, he was with a fifteen-year-old boy he ID'd as he nephew. But that didn't seem quite right to the officers, who contacted the boy's parents the next day.
Turns out Jenkins wasn't his uncle. He was a 45-year-old sex offender who'd gotten into contact with the boy via an online chat room. The boy agreed to meet Jenkins, leading to a series of sexual assaults and graphic photo sessions.
This wasn't Jenkins' first foray into such disturbing acts. He'd been convicted of sexually assaulting young males four times, and prosecutors say he estimated his victim total at 21.
The Colorado Springs connection? At sentencing yesterday, following Jenkins' February guilty plea to sexual exploitation of a child and sexual assault, a past victim testified. He said the sexual assaults had started back in 1995, when he was thirteen and Jenkins was -- yes -- a youth pastor at a Springs church his parents attended.
This tale can't help echoing the December arrest of Joshua Amoroso, a 21-year-old youth pastor charged with sexual assault on a fourteen-year-old girl, and the April bust of youth group volunteer Eric Caverly, 37, for a three-year-relationship with a girl that began when she was sixteen.
This is a club that definitely doesn't need any more members. Look below to take a larger look at Jenkins' booking photo:
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Michael Mangino, busted for sex crimes, 2nd Aurora DARE cop accused of pervy kid habit."