Former youth pastor sentenced for sex assault on a child in Colorado Springs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A former youth pastor and a former owner of a prominent Colorado Springs haunted house was sentenced for sex assault on a child this week.
Detectives began investigating 49-year-old Vincent Stites in September of 2020 after the police department was tipped off to a possible sex crime involving Stites and a child in the mid-2000s. Stites was working as a youth pastor at Friendship Assembly of God Church in Colorado Springs at the time and the victim was a member of his youth group. Stites was in his mid-30′s at the time of the crime.
Stites was arrested Feb. 24. and charged with one count of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.
On Thursday, Stites took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to sex assault on a child. Stites was sentenced to serve an indeterminate sentence of 10 years to life on Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation (SOISP). As part of the program, a team of specially trained people will track Stites progress in sex offender treatment and determine when, if ever, it is appropriate for him to have contact with children again. Stites will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Stites was sentenced to 90 days in jail on top of the 110 days he had already served.
“This plea agreement was extended after extensive conversations between the DA and the victim in this case, who preferred Stites to take accountability by way of pleading guilty, get sex offender treatment, and be prohibited from having contact with minors in the future,” Howard Black the Director of Communications/Public Information Officer with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office wrote to 11 News. “All options were discussed with the victim, including the possibility of testifying at a trial or resolving the case instead with a plea agreement, and she ultimately decided that the outcome most in line with her objectives was for Stites to enter a plea agreement. The victim in this case fully supports the stipulations and provisions outlined in the plea agreement.”
Stites was one of the owners of the HellScream Haunted House/HellScream Haunts amusement center in Colorado Springs.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, you can call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)
HellScream sent 11 News the following statement:
“We the co-owners of Hellscream Entertainment have learned that Mr. Vincent Stites has been sentenced following a guilty plea for a criminal charge that occurred approximately 15 years ago. This case occurred several years before Hellscream ever opened its doors and is in no way related to Hellscream Haunted House. Mr. Stites resigned from his role as Chief Operating Officer of Hellscream Entertainment this past spring and is no longer part of the General Management Team. Jack Schinkel, father of co-owner Jeff Schinkel, has stepped back in as a co-owner since Vince’s departure. This year Hellscream will celebrate its 13th year serving the community with spooky entertainment and we are committed to providing fun, safe, and family friendly entertainment to Southern Colorado.”
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