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Police arrest church pastor as child sexual assault suspect in Woodland Park

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- UPDATE: The attorney of Johnny Monderen reached out to KRDO to provide an update that the case had been dismissed.

According to attorney Joe Maher, the District Attorney's Office informed the court of evidence "substantially contradictory statements from the alleged victim's trial testimony" that had not previously been disclosed to the defense.

His attorney said, "the court determined that this was a violation of the defendant's constitutional due process rights. The court dismissed the matter that same day but later identified the dismissal as a declaration of a mistrial."

On December 27, 2021, his attorney stated the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office dismissed the case with prejudice citing an inability to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The court ordered the case dismissed and the court record sealed.

Previous Coverage: Johnny Monderen, 49, was free on bond Wednesday after his arrest last week on charges of child sexual assault.

Woodland Park police took Monderen -- who is pastor of Church of the Son in Colorado Springs, according to the church's website -- into custody last Friday at his home.

He's facing felony charges of sexual assault on a child, sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, and sexual exploitation of a child.

Monderen also is charged with menacing and unlawful display of sexually explicit matter, both misdemeanors.

A judge allowed Monderen to be released on bond because he isn't considered a flight risk or a threat to the community.

"With school being back in, a lot of the kids are reporting things that have happened while they've been out of school because of COVID," said police Commander Andrew Leibbrand.

"So we are seeing a little bit of a rise in reporting, kids reporting things. So that's kind of what tipped us off here, was a report to an older sibling. But he finally reported to somebody who was able to come and tell us."

Police said the victim has been taken from the home to a safe location, and are investigating the possibility of other victims "from many years ago."

Monderen's next scheduled court appearance is on Nov. 5. Each felony charge carries a maximum penalty of from 4 to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.

Editors Note: This article was updated on May 11, 2022, after Monderen's attorney provided new information regarding the case.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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