In the Delta District Court Wednesday, Jan. 4, the Honorable Steve Schultz entered an adjudication of a juvenile after a four-day trial. The court determined that the evidence sustained a finding, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the juvenile committed the crime of sexual assault on a child as a pattern of abuse. This crime is classified as a class 3 felony if committed by an adult. There were two charges involved in this juvenile case; the second was dismissed after the court found insufficient evidence to adjudicate the juvenile.
This was a trial to the court that began Dec. 27 and lasted through Dec. 30. Evidence presented was through the testimony from two child victims, who were able to relate their traumatic experience to the court, as well as from family members, juvenile witnesses, an expert witness and law enforcement officers.
This finding is the result of hard work from the 7th Judicial District's sex offense prosecution team and their partners in law enforcement. Deputy district attorney Seth Ryan and victim services specialist Denetta Dunlap earned extra acknowledgement for their long hours of work during Christmas week.
Judge Schultz determined the juvenile was a delinquent as a result of the finding. Sentencing is scheduled for April 4 at 10 a.m. The court can impose probation, or may commit the juvenile to the Division of Youth Corrections. In addition, the juvenile will be required to participate in sex offender treatment and to register as a sex offender.
"Cases of this nature involving sex offenses are always challenging and meaningful cases," district attorney Dan Hotsenpiller said in a press release issued last week. "The district attorney's office will continue the work of providing opportunities for victims to come forward and tell their compelling stories of sexual abuse and assault."
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.