“There has to be a punitive component because he was found to be in possession of so many images, and yet they weren’t enough. The defendant solicited people to molest their own children so he could get more.”
— Han Ng, a deputy district attorney with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Moffat County, about Craig resident Christopher Genova during Tuesday's sentencing hearing
A Craig man arrested in December 2011 and again in March on child pornography and sexual assault charges was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in Moffat County District Court.
Christopher Frederick Genova, 39, was sentenced to the stipulated maximum sentence of 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections for possession of sexually exploitative material, a Class 3 felony, and possession of child pornography, a Class 4 felony.
A concurrent sentence of probation for 10 years to life also was handed down by Michael O'Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District, for solicitation to commit sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, a Class 4 felony.
The sentence was delivered in accordance to a June plea agreement between Genova and the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Genova also faced four counts of sexual assault on a child in Fremont County and a potential probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but those charges will be dismissed now that he has been sentenced in Moffat County, according to the plea agreement disposition.
But, concessions in Fremont County and from the FBI didn't deter Genova from pleading to the court Tuesday for a reduced sentence.
Genova said it was unjust he was facing 12 years in prison “in a case where there was no victim,” when many other defendants around the state received sentences of five to seven years for the same crimes.
Genova's attorney, public defender Heidi Troxell, tried to have the previously agreed upon plea agreement withdrawn because it had been taken “out of fear and ignorance of a life sentence.” O’Hara countered the defendant and his attorney.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind Mr. Genova was competent and understood the terms of the plea agreement at the time he entered into it,” the judge said.
Genova’s wife also pleaded with the court for a reduced sentence, citing circumstances she said that keep her from earning a wage adequate enough to care for their infant son.
Deputy district attorney Han Ng maintained his argument for a prison sentence.
“There has to be a punitive component because he was found to be in possession of so many images, and yet they weren’t enough,” he said. “The defendant solicited people to molest their own children so he could get more.”
O’Hara also addressed Genova’s claim he had engaged in a victimless crime.
He said he could not hand down a sentence without considering the sexual assault allegations in Fremont County.
“When I consider the length of the sentence compared to allowing you to remain at large, it’s really not a question,” O’Hara said. “There is no defense to the possession and distribution of these images, and you admitted to both.
“(That fact) coupled with the sexual assault allegations in Fremont County and, what I can only call a conspiracy to solicit others to sexually assault a minor, makes you a scary person.”
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.