Schmuck of the Week

Pastor Walt Roberson Sentenced for Not Reporting His Child-Stalking Son

Can a pastor also be a schmuck?

He can if he's Walt Roberson.

The senior pastor for Vinelife Church in Longmont, Roberson is one of four officials or elders at the house of worship to be sentenced for failure to report pervy sex allegations involving a church employee.

The guilty party: youth pastor Jason Roberson, Walt's son.

We told you about the arrest of Jason and the charging of five church employees back in 2013.

Pastor Luke Humbrecht, a member of the originally accused quintet, reportedly received no punishment this month.

Jason's website is no longer online. But a couple of years back, as we reported, the address featured Christian-music videos, recordings and speeches about his faith.

However, Jason's Bandcamp page remains active. Here's a clip entitled "Recent Teachings:"

He described his inspirations like so:
Some of my most treasured moments in life are the ones when I get to share my passions and gifting with my wife and daughters. As exciting as it is to travel and serve with close friends around the world, it's so much more fulfilling when one of my girls gets to share those journey's and special moments with me. I had one of those special moments recently.

While working on a new song during the election season last fall, I found myself faced with this question... What have I placed my hopes and trust in? This song was the result of those questions and prayer times in the early morning hours at home.

When I finished the song I showed it to my oldest daughter Madelyn and made an amazing discovery.... She is a way better singer than I am! So with a huge amount of pride in my first born I couldn't resist asking Madelyn to sing with me in the recording studio for her very first time ever. I'm sure you'll be hearing much more from her in the very near future.

The allegations against Roberson stood in stark contrast to these writings. In 2005, according to an arrest report in his name, a then-fifteen-year-old girl sought an internship at Vinelife even as she and Jason, a friend of her family, started texting and calling each other.

Over the course of that year, the relationship is said to have escalated to the point where Jason would allegedly come to her school and meet with her as she was going from one class to another. Then, the alleged victim told investigators, he showed her a photo on his cell phone he said he couldn't erase — of his penis.

More troubling claims: She said Jason told her she was dressed inappropriately, then watched as she changed; discussed topics like masturbation; and eventually started groping her breasts, often in his church office.

In the beginning, Jason faced one count each of sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual contact and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. Later, the Boulder DA's office also targeted him with a stalking beef.

Shortly thereafter, Walt Roberson, as well as executive pastor Robert "Bob" Young and elders Edward Bennell and Warren Williams, were cited for duty to report child abuse.

That's because the woman told investigators she met with folks at the church about Jason way back in March — months before his arrest.

The officials suspended Jason and launched an investigation into his actions. However, they didn't immediately inform law enforcement, as the law requires them to do.

Jason pleaded guilty to two of the charges against him — sexual exploitation and stalking — and was sentenced last year to two years in prison.

Then, a few days back, it was his dad's turn.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, the accused officials claimed they hadn't notified law enforcement about the accusations against Jason because a lawyer said the victim's status as an adult at the time of the report (she's 25 now) "exempted them from further responsibility."

But Judge David Archuleta disagreed in a big way.

"There was enough information that the parties should have made that report to law enforcement," Archuleta said during the sentencing hearing. "A message has to be sent that this cannot happen."

The result: Walt and Young have been ordered to spend ten days behind bars or toiling on a work crew, Bennell must serve two days in either of these ways and Williams received forty hours of community service.

Plus enshrinement in the annals of our Schmuck of the Week archive.

Look below to see Jason's original booking photo, followed by a CBS4 report from 2013.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Latest Stories