Golf pro arrested

Thomas Jay Dockstader accused of sexual assault

A golf pro at the Yampa Valley Golf Course who resigned as coach of the Moffat County High School girls golf team Thursday, faces charges of having sex with a minor.

Craig police officers Monday arrested Thomas Jay Dockstader, 45, on charges of sexual assault on a child by one in position of trust, sexual assault on a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Dockstader has not been formally charged, but Amy Fitch, chief deputy district attorney, said she expects formal charges to be filed today.

At a hearing Tuesday, Moffat County Court Judge Mary Lynne James set Dockstader's bail at $50,000. He remained in jail early Tuesday evening. Dockstader appeared in court from the Moffat County Jail via closed-circuit television.

In a press release, investigators from the Craig Police Department said their investigation revealed that Dockstader had an alleged sexual relationship with a Moffat County High School student during the span of at least one year while the girl was a junior and senior. The girl now is 18.

Dockstader has been a golf pro at the Yampa Valley Golf Course for the past nine years, according to testimony Tuesday. He coached at the high school for about eight years.

Judge James set bail for Dockstader higher than what the current schedule calls for. James said Dockstader would likely be charged with at least one Class 3 felony of sexual assault. Such a charge typically results in a $20,000 bail and carries a sentence of two to 24 years in prison upon conviction, James said.

"All sexual offenses are not under the standard bond schedule," she said. "It is up to the discretion of the judge and the nature of the charge."

In testimony made by conference call to the court during the bond hearing, the parents of the girl urged the judge to post a high bond for Dockstader. The girl's father said his daughter had received threats to her life from some people.

"For the fear and safety of our family and daughter we would like the bond to be set as high as possible," he said.

The victim's mother said she did not want Dockstader "endangering the life of anyone else."

"He is a menace and he needs to be controlled," she said.

Fitch argued for a high bond because Dockstader had resigned his position with the Moffat County School District and "intended to move out of state."

Moffat County School District Superintendent Pete Bergmann told the Daily Press Dockstader resigned from the district Thursday. In addition to serving as the girls golf coach, Dockstader also coached the eighth-grade boys basketball team at Craig Middle School.

Bergmann said he learned of the allegations recently, during a period when Dockstader wasn't coaching.

"It's unfortunate that the allegations are out there. That disturbs us," Bergmann said. "He was a good coach for us."

Bergmann and other school officials are required by law to report any abuse of students. Bergmann said he had reasonable grounds to believe that a crime had occurred, though he wouldn't say how he learned of the alleged incident.

Bergmann said he turned the information over to police who conducted interviews with the girl and her family a day after Dockstader submitted his resignation letter.

Bergmann said the allegations wouldn't change hiring practices for coaches or change the district's practice of allowing men to coach girls teams.

"We'll continue to do what we can to hire the best-qualified coaches," he said.

Craig police Chief Walt Vanatta said police "have no reason not to believe the victim."

"At this point I don't have anything to indicate that it's not an isolated incident," Vanatta said. "I have no reason to believe that someone else may come forward."

Judge James also issued a mandatory restraining order for Dockstader.

It prohibits him from associating with the alleged victim or her family and others younger than 18, except his two children.

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