Tuesday, December 3rd, former youth pastor Joseph Potts, 33, was sentenced to 50 years in jail after he had pleaded guilty in September to sexual exploitation of a child, and first-degree assault. As a part of the plea deal, the remaining charges against him were dropped.
The crimes are said to have occurred in 2017 while Potts served at Jubilee Fellowship Church. At the time, the boys were 14 and 15, and had been invited to spend the night at Potts' apartment and play video games.
“Mr. Potts is the most dangerous type of criminal,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Danielle Jaramillo said. “He used a religious position of leadership in order to gain the trust of parents so that he had access to their children. These parents trusted that their children would be safe when alone with the defendant, and he took advantage of that trust in the worst way."
Once the boys arrived at his apartment however, rather than playing video games, he is said to have shown them pornography before initiating lewd acts which resulted in sexual assault.
“There is likely a special place in hell for those who satisfy their lascivious sexual desires under the guise of being a youth pastor,” District Attorney George Brauchler said. “We can, at best, protect ourselves from him in this life. His true sentence awaits him in the next.”
Jaramillo praised the boys for speaking out saying, “This sentence is due to the bravery and courage of two boys … If not for them, Mr. Potts would have done this again to other children. They truly are heroes.”
After his sentence is served, Potts will be required to register as a sex offender.