COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – A former youth pastor and former owner of a major haunted house in Colorado Springs was convicted of child sexual assault this week.
Detectives began investigating Vincent Stites, 49, in September 2020 after the police department learned of a possible sex crime involving Stites and a child in the mid-2000s. Stites was then working as a youth pastor. at the Friendship Assembly of God in Colorado Springs and the victim was a member of his youth group. Stites was in his mid-thirties at the time of the crime.
Stites was arrested on February 24 and charged with one count of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust.
On Thursday, Stites reached a plea deal and pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child. Stites was sentenced to serve an indefinite sentence of 10 years in life Intensive probation for sex offenders (SOISP). As part of the program, a team of specially trained people will monitor Stites’ progress in dealing with sex offenders and determine when, if anything, it is appropriate for him to re-engage with children. Stites will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Stites was sentenced to 90 days in prison in addition to the 110 days he had already served.
“This plea deal was extended after lengthy conversations between the prosecutor and the victim in this case, who preferred that Stites take responsibility by pleading guilty, obtain sex offender treatment and be barred from having contact with minors in the future, “Howard Black, director of communications / public information officer for the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, wrote to 11 News. “All options were discussed with the victim, including whether to testify at a trial or resolve the case instead with a plea deal, and she ultimately decided that the outcome most suited her goals was for Stites to enter into a plea deal. The victim in this case fully supports the stipulations and arrangements 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 children are being abused or neglected 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 convicted of a guilty plea to a criminal charge that arose approximately 15 years ago. This case occurred several years before Hellscream opened its doors and is in no way related to Hellscream Haunted House. Mr. Stites resigned as COO of Hellscream Entertainment last spring and is no longer part of the general management team. Jack Schinkel, father of co-owner Jeff Schinkel, has returned as co-owner since Vince left. This year, Hellscream will be celebrating its 13th year of community service with spooky entertainment and we’re committed to providing fun, safe, family-friendly entertainment in Southern Colorado.
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