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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