Accused ex-coach appears in court
March 23, 2005
A former Moffat County High School girls’ golf coach allegedly had sex with a student nine times and gave her alcohol three times before she turned 18, according to court testimony Wednesday.
Moffat County Judge Mary Lynne James presided over a preliminary hearing to determine whether charges against Thomas Jay Dockstader, 45, should be bound over to district court for trial. Based on the testimony of two investigators, the judge ordered Dockstader to stand trial on charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and contributing to the delinquency of a child.
He will be arraigned in late April.
Dockstader resigned as golf coach in February. He worked as a golf pro at Yampa Valley Golf Course. The girl graduated last year.
Preliminary hearings operate under different laws than other Colorado court proceedings. The court views all evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution and binds the case over based on the slightest evidence, the judge said.
Dockstader’s attorney, Kristopher Hammond of Steamboat Springs, challenged the prosecution’s charge that Dockstader’s job as golf coach or golf pro placed him in a position of trust in relation to the girl, now 18. Judge James rejected Hammond’s arguments.
“A coach is a person of trust,” James said.
The first alleged incident happened in July 2003, when the girl was 16. She went to Dockstader’s home so he could videotape her golf swing, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. K. C Hume testified.
Dockstader’s wife and children were out of town. Hume said the girl told him Dockstader gave her a couple of beers, and they had sex on the couch in Dockstader’s basement.
“Over the course of the next several months, several sexual incidents occurred,” Hume said.
According to Hume’s testimony, they had sex at Dockstader’s home, at the golf course pro shop, once at East Elementary School and once at the alleged victim’s home.
Hume testified that during a telephone conversation, Dockstader asked the teenager to deny they had sexual relations.
“(She) asked what she should say, and Mr. Dockstader told her she should say it was a fantasy, something she wanted to happen … (that) it didn’t happen until after she turned 18,” Hume said.
But on cross-examination, Hume said Dockstader twice denied during the recorded conversation having sexual relations with the teen.
The crimes with which Dock-stader is charged carry a penalty of two to 24 years in prison.
Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.