A Cortez man could end up in prison for the rest of his life after being found guilty of sexually assaulting his common law wife.
After more than three hours of deliberations on Monday, Aug. 10, a jury found Allen Dietz, 56, guilty on one count of sexual assault, three counts of third-degree assault, two counts of menacing and one count of harassment. Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker granted a defense request to dismiss a count of false imprisonment.
Held without bond, Dietz will be sentenced on Oct. 14. He faces a maximum of 24 years in prison, but that term could stretch into an indeterminate lifetime sentence pending a parole board decision, according to District Attorney Will Furse.
The convictions stem from three separate incidents that occurred inside the defendant’s home in June, July and August of 2014.
Last week, trial evidence revealed the victim, now 53, was repeatedly belittled via racial and sexual slurs. Contained in three separate audio recordings the victim made while being attacked, Dietz repeatedly used disparaging language in an apparent attempt to control his common-law wife via humiliation.
On the witness stand for a total of 11 minutes on Monday, Dietz admitted to menacing and harassing the victim, but he denied ever sexually assaulting his wife, claiming it was consensual.
Furse said he agreed to merge the 15 charges to avoid a possible appellate review, conceding some counts were duplicative.