Christopher Hutchinson, the 37-year-old former youth pastor of two Arapahoe County churches, was sentences to three months in jail and 20 years of sex offender intensive supervision probation for sexually touching a girl who came to him for help.
Hutchinson was convicted of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust July 29. The prosecution asked that he be sentenced to four years in prison, according to a release from the Office of the District Attorney, and DA George H. Brauchler was unhappy with District Court Judge Natalie Chase decision Friday.
“The defendant early on was offered a plea deal. He could have accepted responsibility for his actions and admitted he needed help. He could have spared a 13-year-old girl who he victimized the trauma of being on the witness stand,” Brauchler said. “Instead, his defense deliberately attacked her credibility, calling her a liar and basically throwing her under the bus. He denied that his conduct was sexual in nature or for sexual gratification until after the jury found him guilty. The office does not consider him to be a good candidate for probation.”
According to the release, the girl turned to Hutchinson for advice and support in a difficult time and she met him in local parks at his urging. She told her parents he touched her sexually during their meetings, and they reported him to the police.
Hutchinson was a youth pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Parker when he was arrested, but he met the girl while he was a youth pastor at South Fellowship Church in Littleton.
The Denver Post’s Noelle Phillips was present for the sentencing. The girl told the court she’d contemplated suicide.
“He never punched me and he never hit me,” she said. “But he broke me. As a person I trusted, he shattered what safety was.”
Colorado’s indeterminate sentencing for felony sex crimes again played a roll in the sentencing. According to the Post, Chase expressed concern that Hutchinson’s prison time would really be up to a parole board if she recommended a four-year sentence.