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Cecilio Chavez convicted in retrial of 2002 Firestone sex assault case

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By The Staff

GREELEY — A Weld County jury on Friday, June 27, convicted the man accused of attacking a developmentally disabled girl near a ditch in Firestone 12 years ago.

Cecilio Chavez, 62, was found guilty of sexual assault on an at-risk juvenile with force, which is a Class 2 felony. Chavez originally was convicted in this case in 2003 and sentenced to an indeterminate sentenced of 24 years to life in prison in 2004.

The new conviction will mean Chavez faces a minimum of 16 to 24 years in prison up to a life sentnce. His sentencing is set for 4 p.m. Sept. 11 in Weld County District Court.

Chavez was granted a new trial last year after the Colorado Court of Appeals ordered the release of Department of Human Services records related to the case that the original trial judge had declined to release to the defense and the prosecution.

Police had arrested Chavez at the scene of the attack on July 15, 2002, after a woman driving by saw him with his pants down near a young girl. The woman sped to the police department and summoned help. Officers rushed to the scene along Weld County Road 13 and found Chavez sitting near the girl and her three siblings.

One of the children told police that Chavez lured them out of Onorato Park under the premise of seeing a puppy then led them to an area near a ditch on the edge of town. He told the three younger children, according to their testimony, to go to Safeway and get a drink, but they turned back after one of them saw the man on top of their sister. Her brother, who was seven at the time, said Chavez had a knife and threatened to hurt them when he tried to stop him from attacking their sister.

Although she was 12 at the time, witnesses testified that the victim had the mental capacity of a toddler. Chavez was 50.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Christian Schulte and Deputy District Attorney

Garrick Storgaard prosecuted this case. Schulte also prosecuted the original trial

in 2003.