Dockstader pleads guilty

Monday's sexual assault trial vacated

A former high school golf coach accused of having sex with a minor may escape prison time, according to terms of a plea agreement made in Moffat County District Court on Thursday.

Thomas Dockstader, 45, pleaded guilty to a four-year deferred felony charge and misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual contact with a minor. At least one other charge has been dismissed.

Dockstader will have to register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment as part of the agreement, Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch said.

A jury trial in the case against Dockstader, which was scheduled to start Monday, has been vacated.

"I talked with the victim, and that's what she wanted," Fitch said. "She wanted him to admit the truth and wanted him to register as a sex offender and get sex offender treatment."

Dockstader, a former Moffat County girls golf coach, was charged with having sex with a minor nine times before she turned 18, according to court testimony.

He resigned in February.

Dockstader pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual coercion on a child, a Class 4 felony. If Dockstader successfully completes the terms of the agreement for four years, the felony will be dropped. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual contact with a minor. That charge cannot be erased from the man's criminal file.

A bail bond violation and a restraining order violation will be dismissed in the case. Other charges may be rolled into the plea, which has been accepted conditionally by the court. A judge will decide the exact terms of the sentence at a hearing at 1 p.m. Nov. 1.

New evidence presented to prosecutors in the case brought forth a plea agreement, Fitch said.

She declined to comment about what that evidence entailed.

Moffat County Judge Mary Lynne James said it's common for cases to be pled near the trial date. Only a victim needs to be notified in the event that a plea deal is reached and is headed for a hearing.

The victim listened to the hearing by phone, and the defendant appeared in person, according to court records.

A pre-sentence investigation and a sex offender evaluation were ordered in the case.

Fitch said it can be traumatic for a victim to testify on a sexual assault case in trial.

"I think she was very happy to have it resolved," Fitch said.

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031 or ahamilton@craigdailypress.com

Commenting has been disabled for this item.