BREAKING: MacKenzie sentenced to 10 years probation |

BREAKING: MacKenzie sentenced to 10 years probation

Former city councilman avoids jail time after being caught in undercover sting soliciting a minor for sex

Brian MacKenzie

Former Craig city councilman Brian MacKenzie was sentenced in Jefferson Court District Court Friday to 10 years of Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation in concurrent sentences for three felony convictions.

Prosecution asked the court for incarceration.

MacKenzie was caught in an undercover sting operation near Denver two years ago, when Jefferson County sheriffs said he was attempting to make contact with a girl he believed he met on the internet. A sheriff’s investigator was posing as the girl.

Citing a lack of criminal history and substance abuse in MacKenzie’s history, defense argued for probation on all counts to run concurrently.

The defense said MacKenzie was seeing a therapist for treatment for the issues that led to his arrest and conviction, also arguing that, because he was going through a “low point” in his life, and a divorce, the defendant deserved to avoid incarceration.

MacKenzie spoke at the sentencing.

“I made a mistake,” he said. “I admit I made a mistake. I made assumptions. Those assumptions should have been followed by double-checking and verifying the age of the individual I was talking to online. I have never harmed anyone and have never harmed or will harm anyone.”

Citing his therapeutic experience, MacKenzie promised to be a positive force in his community going forward.

“It bears noting of course that the term is indeterminate on some of these (convictions), between 2 and 6 (years) up to the end of natural life,” said judge Christopher Zenisek.

Zenisek continued to say that, despite mitigating factors of a lack of criminal history, there were concerns based on statements made even Friday.

“I’m mindful of Mr. MacKenzie’s descriptions and defense at trial, his comments accept responsibility but seem to reference the defenses presented at trial, that he was mistaken, assumptions he made, which strikes the court as saying that he’s still saying he was expecting an adult on the other end, not a child,” Zenisek said. “The jury resolved that question. It found beyond a reasonable doubt that’s not what occurred. That’s where I start from, the jury’s findings.”

Zenisek spoke to the prosecution’s argument for incarceration.

“I’m convinced there’s a lot of sanction here in undergoing probation, SOISP and a lengthy sentence for a first time offender, having three felonies,” he said. “Those are significant consequences; the court does not view additional jail as much meaningful to that. The court will deny that request.”

MacKenzie was not precluded by the court from having access to his 15-year-old son.

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