Steamboat Springs The Stagecoach man charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old boy has taken a plea deal instead of going back to trial.
Daveth A. Young, 40, was scheduled for a new trial starting Aug. 12. His first four-day trial in May ended in a hung jury, and Judge Shelley Hill declared a mistrial.
As part of a deal, Young last week pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual contact, a Class 1 misdemeanor. He will have to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years and will be on sex offender registration for five years.
“This disposition appropriately balances the seriousness of the offense with the difficulties of a retrial, including that the child-victim would be retraumatized by having to testify again,” District Attorney Brett Barkey said in a news release.
Other details related to Young's sentence will be decided during a hearing at 1 p.m. Sept. 6.
Young had been charged with sex assault on a child, a Class 4 felony; sex assault on a child with a pattern of abuse, a Class 3 felony; and sex assault on a child younger than 15, a Class 4 felony.
Young testified at his May trial and denied the allegations.
According to testimony during the trial, a woman from the Denver area had visited Young at his home on two occasions with her two sons and two daughters.
Young and the woman became friends after meeting while playing a game over the Internet. According to testimony, their friendship did not evolve into a physical relationship.
A few months after the May 2012 visits, the mother testified that her 7-year-old son told her that Young had had sexual contact with him.
While testifying, the boy was unable to identify Young in the courtroom. Young at the time was wearing an eyepatch because of a medical issue.
Prosecutors also were unable to get the boy to discuss in court the details of the sex assaults that he previously had shared with investigators. The jury instead heard the details during testimony from the investigators.
Steamboat Springs attorney Larry Combs represented the Stagecoach man during the trial. Combs was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
The case was prosecuted by Barkey and Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com