Springs church employee accused of inappropriate contact with teen makes court appearance

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The man accused of sending sexually explicit images to a teenager at his church was in court for the first time Monday.

Stephen Houlihan, 28, is facing charges for internet luring of a child and obscenity. The senior pastor of Fellowship of the Rockies told 11 News that Houlihan was the communications director for the church. Pastor Stewart McWilliams said Houlihan is on unpaid administrative leave.

“I am disappointed and disheartened,” McWilliams said. “My heart was crushed by this.”

Fountain police said officers arrested Houlihan on June 8 after opening an investigation two days earlier.

According to arrest papers, the teenage victim went to Fellowship of the Rockies and knew Houlihan for about six years. The victim told police she and Houlihan kissed, and Houlihan had sent her several sexually explicit pictures on Instagram.

Investigators arrested Houlihan after posing as the victim online and arranging to meet with him.

“This is something that is appalling to God, and we are doing everything that we possibly can to support those involved right now,” McWilliams said.

According to court records, Houlihan posted his $30,000 bond June 10. One stipulation of the bond was that Houlihan was not allowed to have contact with anyone under the age of 18. In court on Monday, Houlihan’s attorney said they planned to ask for an amendment to that requirement so Houlihan could have supervised contact with his nieces and nephews.

Houlihan’s next court date was scheduled for July 22 at 1:30 p.m.