Steamboat Springs It only took 90 minutes of deliberations for a Routt County jury to return guilty verdicts on all charges against John Brothers Jr., the former teacher and pastor accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy.
The jury Friday morning found Brothers guilty of eight felony counts of sex assault on a child. One charge was filed for each of the eight times Brothers molested the boy.
In addition, the jury found Brothers guilty of eight felony counts of sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, and the jury determined there were grounds to apply a sentence enhancer, which will allow Judge Shelley Hill to impose a longer prison sentence.
Hill ordered Brothers to undergo a psychosexual evaluation before sentencing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 19.
During the trial, jurors heard graphic testimony from the victim, who was 12 years old when the molestation occurred in 2007. The boy reported the incidents to the Routt County Sheriff's Office in 2012.
Jurors were convinced by the boy's testimony.
"I think that this trial basically came down to whether you believed the victim's testimony, and all the jury members felt comfortable with his testimony and had no reason not to believe it," juror Will Carlton said after the trial. "I think that was the crux of the case."
Brothers had little reaction when the verdicts were read. Before being taken into custody, he hugged his parents.
The victim was not in the courtroom when the verdicts were read. The victim's parents attended and were consoled by friends.
A news release from the Routt County District Attorney's Office stated Brothers faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 256 years or life.
The trial lasted nine days and started May 27 with jury selection, which took three days.
"We greatly appreciated the jury’s focus through the many days of trial," District Attorney Brett Barkey stated in a release. "Their verdict brings a long-awaited measure of justice to our victim and his family, who were a truly inspiring example of courage and perseverance. Our Routt County trial team, led by Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Karzen, Deputy District Attorney Eliot Thompson and Routt County Sheriff’s Office Detective T.J. Sisto, did an outstanding job in presenting this very challenging case.”
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland