Craig man gets 10 years for sexual assault

A Craig man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday, following a conviction in August for sexually assaulting one of his daughters.

Judge Richard Doucette handed down the sentence in the Moffat County district courtroom, where the man's three daughters, their friends and family gathered.

At the end of a five-day trial in August, a jury found the man guilty in of aggravated incest and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.

Two of the man's daughters, in their mid teens, addressed the court Monday, saying their father needed psychiatric treatment.

Both girls testified against their father in August.

"What my dad did was wrong," the eldest daughter said Monday. "I think he needs mental help." She said he was "very stubborn, hard-headed and manipulative."

"All I'm asking is to get him help," she said.

Her younger sibling said, "If he gets help, he may realize it was wrong." She said he needs to "quit saying, 'I didn't do it. I didn't do it.'"

"The only way he's going to get out (of prison) is if he actually cops to the fact that he did it," she said.

The man's lawyer, the public defender, Sheryl Uhlmann, asked the court not to use the sentencing guidelines currently in place for sex offenders. She said the sentencing scheme is unconstitutional.

A sentence for a sexual offense in Colorado is an "indeterminate sentence." A sentence of 10 years is really a sentence of 10 years to life because the parole board can keep offenders in prison indefinitely until satisfied that the offender is rehabilitated.

Uhlmann argued this was unconstitutional, saying it was her client's right and intent to maintain his innocence. And since treatment programs require sex offenders to admit guilt, she said it was unlikely her client would ever get out of prison.

When the convict addressed the court, wearing handcuffs and a prison uniform, he brought with him stacks of documents and hand-written notes, saying "Let's rock and roll."

For 30 minutes, he spoke of a range of perceived injustices. He called his daughters victims of the system, which manipulated them to testify against him. He spoke of corruption throughout Moffat County, saying he was ashamed to be a citizen here. He also promised a federal investigation would soon be forthcoming and would exonerate him.

Doucette said he would not look beyond the jury verdict.

The convict asked how he was supposed to get treatment for behavior he claimed he was not guilty of.

Doucett thought for a moment and then said, "The court's position is that the jury found you guilty, you therefore are guilty."

It is the policy of the Craig Daily Press not to print the names of the accused or victims in cases of sexual assault when the victim is related to the suspect.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com.

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