Dockstader’s case going to trial
July 12, 2005
Moffat County Court Judge Mary Lynne James on Tuesday decid ed there was enough evidence that Thomas J. Dockstader may have violated a restraining order to warrant a trial.
Dockstader, the former Moffat County High School golf coach, was arrested on a charge of committing sexual assault on a minor by a person in a position of trust. He is accused of carrying on a relationship with a 2004 Moffat County High School graduate.
On June 10, Dockstader and the victim reportedly were at the Yampa Valley Golf Course at the same time. Assistant District Attorney Amy Fitch said that was a violation of the restraining order issued against Dockstader.
Moffat County Sheriff’s Office Chief Investigator K.C. Hume testified that the victim told him the experience left her “uneasy and scared.”
While playing golf, the victim saw Dockstader seven times. Each time, witnesses said, he stared at her.
The alleged victim knew the former golf course professional was at the course when she arrived, but inquiries assured her that he had started early enough that the two wouldn’t come into contact.
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But immediately on the first hole the victim reported that she could see Dockstader, who at that time was on the fifth hole — 165 yards away.
She reported several other instances of eye contact.
Kristopher Hammond, Dock–stader’s attorney, argued that Dockstader’s actions didn’t constitute a violation of the restraining order.
“All he did was look at someone. He didn’t say anything, he didn’t make any gestures,” Hammond said. “Staring at someone from 165 yards away, is that contact? That’s quite a distance. It’s not clear at all that this kind of conduct adds up to the type of contact the statute refers to.”
Fitch argued that Dockstader’s restraining order prohibits him from harassing or intimidating the victim or other witnesses in the case and that he could not be in any location the victim would likely be found.
The victim is a member of the Yampa Valley Golf Course Ladies Golf Club.
“It was made perfectly clear to Thomas Dockstader that he was to stay away from this victim,” Fitch said.
James ruled that there was enough evidence that a crime had been committed. The case will be heard in September, at the same time Dockstader is tried for the sexual assault case.
James also made clear the conditions of Dockstader’s restraining order.
“It is your obligation to actively avoid the named party in this case,” she said. “You are the one who can be charged criminally if it’s a violation.”
James said that if Dockstader walked into a grocery store and saw the allege victim, he must turn around and leave — even if it means leaving a half-full cart.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.