Joshua Paul Amoroso, 22, was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexual assault on a 14-year-old child by a person in a position of trust.
Amoroso, a Colorado Springs youth pastor at Gateway Church, faces up to 90 days in jail and at least 10 years of probation under his plea agreement with prosecutors, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. The plea arrangement means prosecutors will dismiss the 17 additional counts related to Amoroso's relationship with the 14-year-old girl.
Amoroso met the teenaged girl while counseling children at the Colorado Springs Gateway Church in 2010. 7News reports that their relationship lasted three-months and the youth pastor exchanged more than 16,000 text messages and phone calls with the girl he allegedly had sexual contact with.
According to the Gazette, Amoroso began pursuing the young girl over Facebook and cell phone text messages where Amoroso addressed her as "babe," "gorgeous," "sweetheart" and eventually sent her an email proclaiming his love for her saying, "Hey Baby! I love you so much."
According to the affadivit that 7News obtained, Amoroso first had sex with the girl at her home while her stepmother was sleeping. Then, over the course of the three-month relationship they had sex at Amoroso's home while his wife was out working and at Gateway Senior Pastor Derek Sissel's home while Amoroso was house sitting, the Gazette reports. Church officials then fired Amoroso after he acknowledged the relationship with the girl and the police investigation had begun.
Senior Pastor Sissel, whose house the pair had sex in during their relationship, made this statement to KRDO:
Gateway Church requires those who minister on its behalf to model right conduct. 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. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement.