Former Pastor Sentenced To Probation In Sex Assault Case

By: KKTV News Email
By: KKTV News Email
A former volunteer youth pastor was sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to a sexual relationship with a teenager from his church that lasted almost three years.


After pleading guilty to a sexual relationship with a teenager, a former Colorado Springs volunteer youth pastor was sentenced to probation. The sexual assault began when the girl was 15 years old and lasted three years.

Thirty-seven-year-old Eric Caverly was arrested after a four-month investigation.

Caverly volunteered as a youth pastor at Springs Community Church.

When the allegations came to light in April, the close-knit church community said it was disturbed.

"We're sad. These circumstances speak for themselves. It's very troubling for any family," says Executive Pastor Ross Harrop.

Arrest affidavits say the relationship began back in 2008 when the girl was 16 years old. Court papers show it started with a text message, and progressed into a sexual relationship. Something Executive Pastor Ross Harrop says they train their teens to avoid.

"We call it reducing the risk, and it is something we take very seriously, providing a safe experience for all our ministries."

The investigation began in December when police were called to a Colorado Springs home on a report of a sexual assault.

According to court papers, the teenager ended the relationship in October of 2010 because of Caverly's controlling and jealous nature. She eventually told her therapist and parents, and was forced to file a police report.

Caverly has not been a member of Springs Community Church since 2008, but now the entire church community is healing.

"We are a congregation that's about healing hearts and restoration. So it's certainly troubling and makes us sad," says Harrop.

Caverly is expected back in court next Wednesday.

Springs police say Caverly may have sexually abused other victims, and ask that anyone with information on any possible incidents of sexual abuse call the Colorado Springs Police at 444-7000. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.

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  • by Heidi Location: Pueblo, co on Oct 13, 2011 at 09:12 AM
    This is an outrage!!! What a sick person!!! Guys like him are the reason I don't let my kids attend church "stuff" without real supervision from someone you can trust. He is 37 and all he got was probation? He needs to go to jail so he can feel what it's like to be violated, controlled and abused. Men like him need to be castrated! How many others were there in the past and how many more will there be in the future? If the preacher REAALLLY cares about his “family” he will get this man a REAL sentence for what he did. Please put this away jerk for years, like he belongs and also need to be on the sexual predator list. More and more churches are becoming corrupt. Before anyone should be allowed to alone with kids of any age, they should be screened and interviewed extensively. I know they are not as my mom is heavily involved in her church. If someone volunteers, they just say yes and let them go. Please preacher of that church – stand up and do something to keep our kids and families safe.
  • by Miss Thang on Sep 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM's not about the money fool.
  • by nameless on Sep 27, 2011 at 07:08 PM
    I knew Eric and his family for a year. I am a sexual assault victim. Eric should have been punished far worse for his crimes. Familyfriend--words like your's are extremely ignorant. She deserves to be protected, not hurt. To come forward is not easy and should be respected. Deeply. And to the 16 year old--no matter how hard it was--at least you got some justice. Some of us go forward and get nothing. Your step, although hardly met with the justice it deserved, was a courageous and noble one. You protected numerous others, no doubt.
  • by Miss Thang on Sep 27, 2011 at 03:41 PM
    I'm amm tired of hearing about how 16's and 17's year old girls don't know what they are doing. Some of them girls can teach 18 yr old's and up about sex and how to keep a lover happy in bed. They know what they have and how to use what they got to get what they want. Soon as they not getting what they want anymore then let me cry to someone. For three years she was moaning and groaning and now she's innocent because of her age? Pleeeeeeeeeze. However, the law is the law and nobody will stand up and change it. If she tell you the truth about those three years she probably would say it felt good.
    • reply
      by Sprocket on Sep 28, 2011 at 01:22 PM in reply to Miss Thang
      Sounds like you have a lot of experience Miss Thang. How much did you charge?
  • by SERIOUSLY…..? on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM
    Just one word.... PATHETIC!
  • by Sheep Master on Sep 27, 2011 at 09:53 AM
    Okay, okay, I have this one. Feed Eric and the other convicted sex offenders to the hungry bears. Then feed the bears to the farrow cats, Then feed the cats to the wild dogs and sell the dogs to the Asian market. Then take the fur from the animals and clothe the homeless. Then send the homeless to Phoenix.
  • by Dispatcher on Sep 27, 2011 at 09:48 AM
    Is it a greater sin to steal a cracker or to murder someone? In the eyes of god, all have sin and fell short of the glory of god. Just saying....
  • by Q Location: Neverland on Apr 17, 2011 at 08:22 PM
    "Walk a Mile in my Shoes".......I'm 60 years old....sexually abused as a child into my teens.....and it took years before I could tell another soul....and even then it was my sisters that I confided in. I knew the situation was wrong....but that didn't make it any easier to tell anyone....I felt threatened....betrayed.....and lost! We need to always remember that 'children are children' one has the right to take that innocence away! Unlike what the media: television, movies, music videos portray....not ALL 16 year olds are emotionally mature. Find it in your heart to be fair....not cruel!
    • reply
      by Me on Apr 18, 2011 at 09:35 AM in reply to Q
      Thank you so much for saying that, Q. That might have made my day to know someone understands what it feels like.
    • reply
      by still here on Apr 18, 2011 at 10:52 AM in reply to Q
      Dear Q, I have been following this story from the beginning. Thank you so much for speaking out. I too am a survivor and am not far behind you in age. I pray that people like "Family Friend" could understand the mind set of a predator. Eric probably watched this girl for a while and discovered her vulnerabilities. "Family Friend" has implied her parents weren't watching or didn't care. Mine loved me but couldn't see because they trusted this person. I guess no one can really understand unless they have lived through it. I was scared, isolated; over time I had no one to turn to because he had made my world all about him. I'm troubled that "Family Friend" is so hung up on how the girl dressed. I dressed exactly like my abuser wanted me to. I did nothing without his permission. He controlled every aspect of my life. It sounds ludicrous now but I couldn't get out of the situation then. Things that look one way on the outside are often totally different on the inside. When I finally got away, I was so ashamed that I couldn't tell anyone for years. Just like you, the people I told were my sisters. I admire this young girl's courage in speaking out now. She may save another young girl from this horror. I've always carried the guilt that my abuser probably did this again because i was too ashamed of what people like "Family Friend" might say or think about me, so I kept silent. It's still haunts me. Thank you for sharing. For reminding me that I'm not alone. That we are survivors, no longer victims. As for "Family Friend" it is so easy to judge without all the facts. I pray that you find compassion. This could happen to someone you know and love. The cases reported are just the tip of the iceberg because victims are afraid and feel shameful.
      • reply
        by Me on Apr 18, 2011 at 10:14 PM in reply to still here
        I'm so glad that you are able to voice this now. I am glad you are taking a stance, I hope the victim can read this and know that you are standing up for her! God Bless
  • by still flipping out parent Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 15, 2011 at 12:26 AM
    I woke my daughter up, showed her the picture of Eric Caverly, and asked her if he went with her middle school group on their winter retreat to Camp Elim. He did! He was with middle school kids all weekend at a camp where kids were not allowed to take any electronic devises (cell phones, etc.) I keep asking her if he touched her in any way, did he say anything to her that was strange, was he alone with her in any way. She gave me a birthday card that was signed by him that reads, "Your Birthday Rock my socks off. I am now sockless Eric" How am I to take that? Was it something perverted or just really weird? I get an e-mail from my church with no way to reply to it. It only reads that questions will be answered on Sunday afternoon. Really? Like no big deal?! I'm furious! I am freaking out here!
    • reply
      by Darla on Apr 15, 2011 at 06:34 AM in reply to still flipping out parent
      I hope there is follow up to this story. Our local media is not too good about following through after the initial excitement.
    • reply
      by 10 on Apr 15, 2011 at 08:51 AM in reply to still flipping out parent
      Grill your child and find out if anything happened, don't just assume! If something did happen, don't just assume it was a one sided thing either. Find out the truthful facts before you go and open your mouth.
      • reply
        by David on Apr 15, 2011 at 10:04 AM in reply to 10
        She's in freaking middle school. Of COURSE it would be one sided! Truthful facts? Are we defending child molesters now?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Apr 16, 2011 at 07:57 AM in reply to David
          Do you have prior experience on child molesting David? Perhaps the Parents should have recognized the dramatic change in the "so called incapable childs" behavior. They're smart enough to HIDE the fact something was terribly wrong but not smart enough, as you people say, to be brainwashed and let it happen for so long and not to ask for help. You people are full of double standards if I've ever seen any. It can't be both ways people.
    • reply
      by Case on Apr 15, 2011 at 01:02 PM in reply to still flipping out parent
      I got the exact same card.
      • reply
        by NAMELESS on Sep 27, 2011 at 05:44 PM in reply to Case
  • by your&mom on Apr 14, 2011 at 11:08 PM
    Oh and FamilyFriend, I know the families involved as well, and I know the other victims. So have fun on your high horse, but know that you don't know Eric at all, because if you did, you wouldn't have allowed him to molest a young woman. But hey, we all have different standards, right?
    • reply
      by Darla on Apr 15, 2011 at 06:30 AM in reply to your&mom
      What "other victims"? What are their ages? How long have they been being abused? I have not seen anything confirming any other victims, so please support your statment.
    • reply
      by familyfriend on Apr 15, 2011 at 06:55 PM in reply to your&mom
      yeah, right...sixteen...she knew what she was doing and when she didn't get her way she filed charges...I didn't allow the abuse/molesting/rape...Eric had sex with a willing participant...end of story.
      • reply
        by Really on Apr 15, 2011 at 10:16 PM in reply to familyfriend
        Sexual predators take advantage of vulnerable children and teenagers. You have no idea what this girl was dealing with in her life to make her easy prey for Eric. Abusers "groom" their victims to make them feel special and then mind control sets in. I'm sad that you are so quick to judge a young girl when this man admitted IN HIS OWN WORDS what he did. You are judging without all the facts or researching to understand the mindset of a sexual abuser. I once was that young girl and you have broken my heart all over again.
    • reply
      by familyfriend on Apr 17, 2011 at 07:19 PM in reply to your&mom
      Yeah right your&mom...there are no other victims just a "young lady" pitching a fit b/c she had sex with an adult and kept going back for more and MORE. They both were wrong and both should be held accountable for their actions...she knew and she wanted it...end of story.
      • reply
        by sunshine101 on Apr 18, 2011 at 03:23 PM in reply to familyfriend
        Okay, familyfriend, looking at it from your perspective that molestation was consensual, do you not care that he cheated on his wife? I mean I would question my family friend's morals if he thought that cheating was okay.
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