Convicted sex offender Daniel J. Beltran was sentenced to three years in community corrections on Thursday after failing to register as a sex offender while on probation.
The 22-year-old Cortez resident pleaded guilty in December 2017 to sexual assault on a 13-year-old girl in May 2016.
In 22nd Judicial District Court on Thursday, the victim’s mother addressed Chief Judge Douglas Walker.
“It’s my job to stand here and fight for her,” she said in court.
Beltran was originally sentenced to 90 days in jail, which he served, followed by three years of probation. While on probation, he failed to register as a sex offender with the city of Cortez by Nov. 26. He was in court for resentencing.
Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Reed stated the prosecution was seeking a three-year sentence at the Hilltop House residential facility in Durango — an alternative sentence to prison, which allows inmates to get jobs and receive treatment they wouldn’t see in a state prison.
The victim’s mother said Beltran was nine years older than her daughter at the time of the sexual assault. She said the court should consider a sentence with the Colorado Department of Corrections instead of community corrections.
“I’m furious it’s even being offered,” she said.
She expressed concern that Beltran might flee on his first day pass from the facility. Beltran, wearing a brown jail uniform and shackles, shook his head after that statement.
When a Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to locate Beltran after he failed to register, the woman who rented a room to Beltran informed the deputy that he had recently moved out and told her he “planned to fall off the grid” and move out of state, according to an MCSO incident report.
Public defender John Moran said he respects the statements from the victim’s mother but emphasized that Beltran is dealing with drug addiction and “significant mental health issues.” He said young men in DOC are warehoused and kept away from society, reinforcing antisocial behavior.
Moran said he wants Beltran to be productive.
Walker then asked Beltran if he would like to speak. The defendant said he has struggled with addiction and mental illness.
“I just want to be a better individual in my community,” Beltran said.
Walker paused and rubbed his eyes before speaking.
He noted that in Beltran’s statements in court and probation he never said he was sorry. He did not express remorse toward the judge, the child or her mother, Walker said.
The judge said he has to weigh the outrage that he shares with the mother and most of society with what is good for society in the future. He said the teen victim repeatedly told Beltran her age and Beltran has claimed he was too drunk.
“Totally unacceptable behavior,” Walker said.
Walker said that if he sent Beltran to prison, he would not receive treatment and probably would become a victim himself. Walker said that although there would be a sort of “base satisfaction” in Beltran becoming a victim, he could not indulge in it.
Walker then agreed to sentence Beltran to three years at Hilltop House.
If he comes back, Walker said Beltran can plan on serving six years with DOC.
He acknowledged that this sentence provides no satisfaction to the mother, who quickly walked out of the courtroom after Walker announced his decision.