Jason Allen Roberson
Jason Allen Roberson (Boulder County Sheriff's Office)

Boulder police have ticketed VineLife's senior pastor Walt Roberson for failing to report alleged sexual abuse of a child by his son, Jason Allen Roberson, a youth pastor at the church.

Walt Roberson was issued the summons on Nov. 25, according to Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel. Four other church officials -- Executive Pastor Robert Phillip Young, 65, Pastor Luke Michael Humbrecht, 30, and church elders Edward Charles Bennell, 65, and Warren Lloyd Williams, 66 -- were also ticketed back in early November, but Walt Roberson was out of the country at the time and so could not be issued a summons, Kobel said.

Jason Roberson, 35, is facing six felony charges in relation to the alleged abuse after Danielle DesGeorges, 24, went to police in April and told investigators that she and Roberson had an inappropriate relationship that began when she was 15 and continued for seven years.

DesGeorges, who lives in Boulder, also is suing Roberson and VineLife Church in Boulder District Court. The Daily Camera generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse, but does have a policy of naming them in cases in which they initiate civil litigation.

According to police reports, in 2004, when DesGeorges was 15, she took an interest in pursuing a career in the church and began exchanging text messages with Roberson. She told police Roberson would invite her to coffee or lunch and would confide in her about his home life and his depression.

In 2007, DesGeorges told investigators, Roberson touched her in a sexual manner for the first time, and touched her in a sexual way at least 10 other times before her 18th birthday, according to police records. DesGeorges also told police Roberson would drop by unannounced at her house when she was in high school and her dorm room at the University of Colorado when she was in college.

DesGeorges' fiancée told Roberson in 2010 that he knew about the abuse, at which point Roberson told his father, according to police records.

Walt Roberson met with DesGeorges, according to the police report, but she did not tell him about the physical aspects of the inappropriate relationship. DesGeorges said she stopped hearing from Jason Roberson after that.

In April of this year, DesGeorges went to police, telling investigators she feared the church "will not take this matter seriously and will allow Jason to continue in his position, where he has access to children," according to the report.

Boulder police obtained a warrant for Roberson's arrest in September, and he turned himself in to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office the same day. He is currently free on $25,000 bond and is due in court for an arraignment Friday.

Walt Roberson
Walt Roberson (VineLife Church website)

Walt Roberson is due to appear in court on Monday for the summons, a Class 3 misdemeanor. Young is due back in court on Dec. 30, while Williams is due in court on Jan. 6. Bennell and Humbrecht have not had court dates set yet.

According to state law, those in professions such as teachers or pastors who are in a position of trust with vulnerable people have obligations to report suspected abuse.

Officials with VineLife Church, 7845 Lookout Road, said in a statement that they consulted an attorney who indicated that the church leadership would not violate Colorado law by not reporting the incident given the current age of the victim.

Colorado statute requires certain people who deal with children to report suspected abuse, but does make an exception when the parties in question do not "learn of the suspected abuse or neglect until after the alleged victim of the suspected abuse or neglect is 18 years of age or older."

However, the statute also states that exception is not valid when the suspect "is currently in a position of trust... with regard to any child currently under 18 years of age," or if there is a possibility the person "subjected any other child currently under 18 to abuse or neglect."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars.