According to sources, sentencing standards for sex crimes in Colorado were made harsher in the 1990's. In fact, it's possible that a convicted sex offender could be sentenced to life in prison for certain types of crimes. Some critics wonder if the relatively new sentencing standards sometimes mean excessive prison terms for certain offenders.
Some are asking themselves whether a wrestling coach from a Colorado high school deserves a life sentence. He was recently found guilty of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and is soon to face a separate trial involving a different student claiming she was also a sex victim of the defendant.
We will not post the name of the defendant nor any of the young victims related to the sex crime cases. We can say that the ex-teacher is a 29-year-old man. He has admitted to engaging in inappropriate communication via texts with at least one of his students. He claims that sexual contact never escalated to the physical level.
At least in the recent case against the defendant, the jury didn't believe that statutory rape didn't take place between him and the young female victim in the now-decided case. He was found guilty of the above-mentioned crime, plus the charge of sex assault on a child by someone in a position of trust with a pattern of abuse. That's the conviction that could earn him a life sentence, according to Colorado laws.
Sources identify an interesting aspect of the verdict in the case that's related to the more serious conviction. The jury reportedly asked the judge before rendering its verdict whether they could find the defendant guilty only of the lesser sex assault charge, without finding him guilty of the pattern of abuse point. The judge's answer: no. It sounds like that simple answer, that split moment, could mean the difference between a possible life sentence or a lesser punishment.
The ex-coach won't be sentenced for the recent convictions until July. Until then, he also has another trial ahead of him wherein he's accused of sexual contact with a child. We will post an update when news is available about the upcoming case and the upcoming sentencing hearing.
Camera: "Ex-Broomfield teacher Travis Masse guilty of sex assault, faces life in prison," John Aguilar, 3 May 2011