Michael Boren, 33, formerly of Rifle, was sentenced to 16 years in prison last week after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl.
According to the arrest affidavit, the incidents occurred in Rifle during the spring of 2012, but were not reported until a year later.
By that time, both Boren and his victim had left the area. Before his arrest in October 2013, Boren’s most recent address was in Coos Bay, Oregon. The girl and her family were residing in Washington state.
At a sentencing hearing on Thursday at the Garfield County Courthouse, Deputy District Attorney Scott Turner played excerpts from an interview with the victim from April 2013.
In it, she describes several occasions in which Boren performed lewd acts in front of her, taught her sexual language and coerced her into sex acts. She told the interviewer that Boren instructed her not to tell her mother and said she wouldn’t get to do the fun things she enjoyed if she didn’t cooperate.
“This is not something any child should have to go through,” the victim’s mother told the assembly via telephone. “He hurt her so deeply and so badly. It makes me really sad that my daughter’s innocence was taken from her when she was so young.”
She said that both she and her daughter, now 9, hoped that Boren would be sentenced to the maximum of 20 years his plea bargain indicated.
Turner let the audio interview speak for itself and turned the hearing over to public defender Sarah Steele.
“Mr. Boren pled guilty because he accepts all of the blame,” Steele said. “We have someone who wants treatment, who’s willing to start right away as soon as he’s able to. He will not be a risk to the community or a risk to re-offend with the proper treatment.”
“Ultimately I am the one who crossed the line,” Boren said in his own statement.“I’m very sorry I failed to do the right thing.”
Steele said Boren had been sexually abused as a child and urged the judge to consider a sentence closer to the eight-year minimum his plea agreement suggested, calling 20 years “out of proportion.”
“It’s beyond what’s needed for community safety, it’s beyond what’s needed for treatment and it’s beyond what’s needed for punishment,” she said.
District Court Judge Denise Lynch seemed unmoved.
“This was a beautiful 6-year-old little girl when these incidents happened. She’s not 6 anymore. She’s probably because of your actions more like 30,” she told Boren. “I think a lengthy prison sentence is in order here.”
Following his release from prison, Boren will be required to register as a sex offender but will not be classified as a sexually violent predator.