Child molester sentenced to prison
March 16, 2016
Steamboat Springs — A convicted Steamboat Springs child molester was sentenced Tuesday to two years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
“What you did to this boy was reprehensible,” Judge Shelley Hill said to Dennis Demara, 47. “Absolutely reprehensible.”
Demara was originally arrested in November 2014 on suspicion of charges related to child pornography. A victim later came forward, and additional charges were filed in 2015.
In December, Demara, a former Steamboat flag football coach, pleaded guilty to attempting to sexually assault a child and tampering with physical evidence.
As part of a plea deal, the charges of felony sexual exploitation of a child and misdemeanor theft were dismissed.
Deputy District Attorney Eliot Thompson told Hill the victim wanted a harsher punishment, though the victim and his family were supportive of the plea agreement, as the family will not have to relive the event at a trial.
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“Dennis Demara is a child molester and should be punished to live in prison without parole,” the victim’s father said to Hill.
The father said his 12-year-old son went to Demara’s house for a sleepover and “came back changed and broken.”
The father said his son woke up on a sofa to Demara touching the boy’s private parts.
“I’m proud of my son for standing up and facing this monster,” the father said.
Steamboat psychologist Roger Reynolds told Hill he has been treating Demara since August 2014.
Reynolds said Demara went to a residential treatment program and came back with a much better understanding of his addiction. Reynolds said the risk was low that Demara would re-offend but added Demara needs more work in the areas of empathy for the victim and full acceptance of his actions.
Pastor Jason Clark also spoke on behalf of Demara.
“I have seen a significant change in his life, spiritually,” Clark said. “I do believe he is a different person than he was two years ago.”
Demara apologized to the family and said he had been dealing with “this issue” since he was 4 years old.
“I’m glad this came out into the open, because now, I can talk to people for help and the support I need,” Demara said. “Basically, I sabotaged my life, and I deeply regret letting a thought turn into an action.”
In addition to prison, Demara must register as a sex offender and will be on sex offender probation for 24 years.