COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A former Colorado Springs church volunteer and haunted house owner is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl for about four years starting in the mid-2000s, according to arrest papers.
Vincent Stites, 49, was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. Stites previously acted as a volunteer youth pastor at Friendship Assembly of God Church, according to police. His wife at the time was employed as a children’s minister at the church.
Stites was also a part owner of Hellscream Entertainment, which runs several popular haunted attractions in the Colorado Springs area. According to his LinkedIn page, Stites began that role in January 2009. He stepped down after the arrest, according to Hellscream’s co-owners.
Haunted house owner arrested on child sex assault charges in Colorado Springs
According to arrest papers, the victim called police in September to report that she had been sexually assaulted by a person in a position of trust about 15 years prior.
The victim told officers that Stites, who is about 19 years older than her, had sexually assaulted her starting when she was about 14 years old, when she had aged out of a church program she was involved in. Stites was one of the adults in charge of the program, the victim told police.
The victim told police she had known Stites since she was 9, attending the church with her family.
The victim told police Stites first got physical with her around 2005. About seven months later, when she was 15, he manipulated her into having sex with him, according to the victim.
The victim told police Stites took her virginity and told her that she could not tell anybody, because he could lose his children.
The victim told police the sex continued for the next three years, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, and then quarterly, until she turned 18 and it stopped.
Police conducted a pretext phone call with Stites in December. During the call, Stites told the victim she was the first person he fell in love with, and acknowledged he thought they were going to get married, according to arrest papers.
“I want to be brutally honest with you,” he said during the call. ” I don’t want to end up in jail.”
After reviewing the case, prosecutors agreed to file charges against Stites in January. A warrant was issued in late February. Stites’ next court appearance is set for Wednesday.