Steamboat Springs A Phippsburg man will have to register as a sex offender for at least a decade and will be on probation for as many as five years after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful sexual contact.
Trenton Wixom, 35, was arrested Aug. 11 by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of sexually assaulting two juvenile girls in 2009. There were no allegations of sexual intercourse, but the girls told an investigator that Wixom touched them inappropriately and that he made the girls touch him.
At the time of the suspected incidents, one of the girls was 16. The other girl was identified only as a juvenile in the arrest affidavit.
The Routt County District Attorney’s Office charged Wixom with a felony count of sexual assault, two felony counts of unlawful sexual contact and a misdemeanor count of sexual assault.
As part of a plea agreement, Wixom in February pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact. He was sentenced Wednesday.
Wixom’s Grand Junction attorney Gordon Gallagher said Thursday that his client did not want to comment about the sentence and that Wixom did not want Gallagher to comment for him.
Routt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle said Thursday that although there was no jail sentence imposed, “there are a lot of things that Mr. Wixom will have to do that he’s not going to like.”
Prindle acknowledged that the father of one of the victims was upset that Wixom won’t serve any time in jail. Jail was not recommended, and Judge James Garrecht chose not to impose a sentence of as many as 60 days.
“Jail is a punishment, but it doesn’t get to the root of the problem,” Prindle said.
In addition to registering as a sex offender, Wixom will have to pay $5,159.30 in fines and fees. He will be on intensive supervised probation for up to five years, and there are four pages of rules that he must comply with, Prindle said. Wixom will undergo treatment, cannot drink alcohol, cannot have contact with children younger than 18 and is forbidden from visiting inappropriate websites.
“It’s not a slap on the wrist,” Prindle said. “There are serious consequences.”
According to court documents, Wixom is divorced with two children and had been a volunteer firefighter with the Oak Creek Fire Protection District for 16 years.
Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said Thursday that after he learned about the allegations, Wixom was suspended and later dismissed from the department.
“Fortunately, none of it happened on fire district time, events or property,” Wisecup said.
He said background checks are performed on firefighters before they are hired.
“If this showed up on a background check right now, they wouldn’t get on the department,” Wisecup said.
Wixom also worked for the Colorado Department of Transportation in South Routt County. CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman wrote in an email Thursday that Wixom still was an employee and that CDOT would be reviewing the case to “determine if any illegal activity or activity that is contrary to CDOT policy or procedure occurred during work time or utilizing any CDOT asset.”
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com