Steamboat Springs A Steamboat Springs restaurateur facing two indecent exposure charges has walked away from a plea deal and will instead take his chances at trial.
Marco Pauvert appeared before Judge James Garrecht in Routt County Court on Wednesday to request that his guilty plea be removed.
In December, Pauvert pleaded guilty to indecent exposure as part of a deal offered by the Routt County District Attorney’s Office. In exchange for pleading guilty to the misdemeanor, a second indecent exposure charge would have been dropped. Also as part of the deal, Pauvert would have avoided jail time, served 64 hours of community service and be placed on probation. Pauvert said he took the deal because he wanted to avoid further publicity.
Before Pauvert was sentenced, he hired Denver attorney Daniel Deters, who discovered a byproduct of the deal that may have been overlooked.
“He based his decision to enter a plea based on some incomplete information,” Deters said.
As part of the deal, Pauvert thought he would have to register as a sex offender for five years, but because of a previous sex offense conviction in Grand County, the second conviction would have required Pauvert to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
“If it’s that important to you, the court is going to allow you to withdraw your plea,” Garrecht told Pauvert, 55, on Wednesday.
Garrecht reminded Pauvert that the deal he is walking away from carries no jail time, and if he is found guilty of the two indecent exposure charges, he potentially faces consecutive 18-month jail sentences.
Deters said Pauvert maintains his innocence.
Pauvert was arrested Aug. 25 after a woman accused him of exposing himself to her in his restaurant, The Epicurean in downtown Steamboat. Another woman then went to police and reported a similar incident that she said took place in July. In both cases, the women allege that Pauvert emerged from a restroom naked while they were at the restaurant.
“Before you’re guilty, you’re not guilty,” Pauvert said after Wednesday’s hearing.
The two cases will be tried separately during one-day jury trials starting at 8 a.m. May 26 and June 2.