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Colorado Springs, CO - Former Fellowship of the Rockies Youth Pastor Stephen Houlihan Takes Plea Deal in Child Sexual Assault Case

Fellowship of the Rockies
Published: April 7, 2020
By: Joe LaFrance
Last Updated on December 11, 2020

Former Fellowship of the Rockies Youth Pastor Pleads Guilty to Obscenity in Plea Deal

Attorney Commentary: Read on to the second section of this article for legal commentary from Dan Lipman, a church sexual abuse lawyer.

A former youth pastor at the Fellowship of the Rockies church in Colorado Springs has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in a child sexual assault case as part of a deal with prosecutors. Stephen Houlihan pleaded guilty to obscenity after originally being charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a child.

Court records say that Houlihan allegedly sent a 15-year-old girl Instagram messages with several sexually explicit photos. An arrest affidavit also says that he "repeatedly expressed a desire to have sex with her." He also allegedly asked the girl to send nude photos of herself. These messages were reportedly sent while Houlihan was in a church office.

The victim also visited Houlihan's home, where they kissed twice, according to court documents.

According to the affidavit, Houlihan was planning to move to Texas for a different job and wanted to continue engaging in sexual misconduct with the victim.

Houlihan will spend five years on intensive sex offender supervised probation.

Dan Lipman Co Lawyer
Hi, I’m attorney Dan Lipman. I’m a lawyer here in Colorado and Maine. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options in a free consultation.
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Commentary From a Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Attorney contributor Dan Lipman represents victims of sexual abuse by pastors and other clergy members in civil lawsuits. We've asked Dan to share some of his thoughts on the legal options available to these victims and their families:

In many sex abuse cases, the abuser was someone close to the victim and in a position of trust. Our sex abuse victim lawyers regularly see this first hand, and church clergy members in many different denominations have been arrested for sexually abusing members of their congregations. Church officials must be aware of the dangers that sexual predators pose to their members and must do everything they can to make sure clergy members are trustworthy and followers are safe.

When a youth pastor or another clergy member is arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a church member, it's important to ask if church officials did all that they could to prevent the abuse. Churches have a legal obligation to protect their follower as much as possible. Some abuse cases may not have happened if not for a failure to meet this legal obligation. In such cases, the church could be considered negligent and held liable in a civil sex abuse lawsuit.

If you or your child is a survivor of clergy sex abuse, you can learn more about your legal rights by discussing your case with one of our experienced sex abuse victim lawyers in a free consultation.


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About the Author
Joe LaFrance
About Joe LaFrance
Editor: Joe is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. He covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Joe: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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