Craig man convicted of child sexual assault |

Craig man convicted of child sexual assault

CRAIG — A Craig man is facing between 8 years and life imprisonment after his conviction last week of multiple charges related to the repeated sexual assault of a child.

Following a 14-month prosecution and a five-day trial, a Moffat County jury on Friday, Feb. 9, convicted Johnnie Joe Ellifritz, 39, of three counts of Class 3 felony sexual assault on a child — pattern of abuse; two counts of Class 4 felony sexual assault; and one count of Class 1 misdemeanor sexual assault.

According to a news release from 14th Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen, the case involved Ellifritz's sexual molestation of a teenager, which continued over a period of approximately three years — from November 2013 to November 2016 — when the child was between 12 and 15 years old.

Following his conviction, Ellifritz was immediately remanded to the Moffat County Detention Center to await sentencing, which is scheduled for June 11.

Pursuant to Colorado state law, a pre-sentence investigation and psycho-sexual evaluation were ordered.

Child sexual assaults are a top priority for this office," Karzen said in the news release. "The courage demonstrated by this young victim, and (the victim's) family, and the resolve they showed during the 14-month prosecution waiting for their day in court is an inspiration.

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"We are grateful for the diligence and focus of the jurors over the course of the trial and the good, hard work of the Craig Police Department's investigator, Det. Norm Rimmer.

"These cases are some of the most difficult and tragic in the criminal justice system, and with these verdicts, we hope the victim and (the victim's) family receive some measure of comfort and can move forward with their lives in peace."