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Man gets 18 years in prison for touching children at Boulder rec center

A man accused of inappropriately touching two children at a Boulder rec center and attempting to touch a third was sentenced Thursday to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.Man gets 18 years in prison for touching children at Boulder rec center

Brandt Deboard, 42, was found guilty in June following a five-day trial. A jury convicted him of two counts of sexual assault on a child and one count of attempted sex assault on a child. He also received a habitual sex offender against children sentence enhancer.

Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman sentenced Deboard to 18 years to life followed by 10 years to life mandatory parole for both counts of sex assault on a child. Hartman also sentenced Deboard to nine years to life followed by two years to life parole for attempted sex assault on a child. The sentences will run concurrently.

The court also determined Deboard meets the criteria to be designated a sexually violent predator. That designation means the courts deem the person to be a high risk for re-offending.

According to an arrest affidavit, parents reported to police that a man groped their 7-year-old daughter at the North Boulder Rec Center, 3170 Broadway, on Jan. 3, 2020.

The girl's mother reported Deboard got into a hot tub at the recreation center that she and her daughter were using. The child was playing with a fish toy, and witnesses said Deboard moved the toy away from her and then groped her when she tried to swim to it.

According to the affidavit, the girl told police that Deboard pinched her twice on her rear, hard enough to cause her pain.

Officers stopped Deboard as he was trying to leave the recreation center after witnesses had identified him as the suspect. Deboard told police he was sovereign citizen and asked officers about their citizenship before denying that he touched the child.

Later in January, Boulder police said they were concerned that other children may have been victimized by Deboard at the center and encouraged victims or witnesses to contact authorities.

The Boulder County District Attorney's Office said that led to the discovery of two additional child victims, who also reported being inappropriately touched at the recreation center hot tub.

Court records show that Deboard pleaded guilty in Boulder County to attempted sex assault on a child in 2010. He was sentenced to three years in prison and was required to register as a sex offender. Deboard has also been arrested for failing to register as a sex offender and failing to appear on an obstruction of a peace officer case.

Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Nicholas Trevino said Deboard's actions show the continued risk he poses to the community.

"This is not his first sex offense and not his first toward children," Trevino said.

Trevino commended the three children for testifying in court.

"It is terrible these three children were forced into the world of the criminal courtroom, because of the defense and his action against them," Trevino said. "We want to acknowledge their bravery and willingness to see the case through."

Defense attorney April Coleman objected to the designation of Deboard as a sexually violent predator, as well as the sentence enhancer for habitual conviction. Deboard's original charges without the enhancer made him eligible for probation, but the enhancer eliminated that possibility.

Hartman granted Coleman's request that the 616 days Deboard already has served be counted toward his sentence.

Hartman noted the life-long impact the offenses would have on the victims and said a lengthy sentence would give Deboard a chance to be rehabilitated.

"The general deterrence in this type of crime indicates a lengthy sentence," Hartman said. "That is the reason why the habitual count has been added. The defense has a history of prior sex offenses."

Hartman said that fact coupled with Deboard's history of noncompliance with registration shows a need for specific deterrents to be put in place.

"The victims will have some solace and support knowing Mr. Deboard will serve a lengthy sentence," Hartman said.