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Loveland man sentenced to 18 months prison, 10 years sex offender probation – Loveland Reporter-Herald | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


The Loveland man accused of trying to lure two Fort Collins teenagers into his vehicle last year as well as allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old has been sentenced to 18 months in prison as well as 10 years of sex offender probation between two cases.

Justin Svetich (Photo courtesy of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office)

Justin Svetich, 41, appeared before 8th Judicial District Court Judge Gregory Lammons Thursday for a  sentencing hearing following his plea to guilty in two separate cases. He was given the maximum sentence allowed under a plea agreement.

In March, Svetich pleaded guilty to criminal impersonation of a peace officer, a class 6 felony, in one case and sexual exploitation of a child, a class 3 felony, in another.

Fort Collins detectives arrested Svetich in February 2022 for an incident that occurred in late 2021, during which Svetich was accused of attempting to lure two teenage girls into his car and eventually brandishing a gun. He was also charged with several counts of sexual assault of a child for an alleged relationship he had with a 14-year-old.

Bob Svetich, Justin’s father, spoke of his son’s past injuries, including being severely pigeon-toed at birth, needing to have his teeth removed and having his foot injured so badly it nearly had to be amputated. He tearfully described his son as a kind, hardworking and responsible person.

“Justin goes out of his way to help others,” his father said. “He opens doors for others. He is a loving, kind soul.”

The mother of one of the victims in the impersonation case, whose name is withheld to protect the victim’s identity, described Svetich as “the boogeyman,” the meaning behind the term stranger danger and someone of whom people should be afraid.

She also said the incident in late 2021 is something that will haunt her daughter forever.

“My daughter has to live with this fear for the rest of her life,” she said.

“I just don’t want another family to go through what we have gone through or what (our daughter) has gone through,” the girl’s father said.

Deputy District Attorney Lucas Corliss said that the facts between the two cases are very concerning and ultimately involve three very young girls. In one case, Svetich tried to lure two teens into a vehicle while impersonating a law enforcement officer, and the other involved sexual contact with a 14-year-old.

Corliss said that in the pre-sentence investigation reports, Svetich allegedly put a lot of blame of the sexual relationship with the 14-year-old on her. He also said that, in the impersonation case, Svetich had acted in a “profoundly terrifying manner.”

Because Svetich was rejected from the Larimer County Community Corrections program, Corliss said he felt the best option was a prison sentence of no less than 15 months followed by sex offender intensive supervised probation; he also explained that the plea agreement came with a stipulated cap of 18 months in prison.

He added that Svetich’s behavior was wildly inappropriate and extremely dangerous, and he can’t imagine the impact it had on the girls, particularly those he spoke to when impersonating an officer.

“I can’t imagine what is going to go through their heads if they are in a situation where they have to call law enforcement again,” Corliss said.

Stephen Doolittle, one of Svetich’s attorneys, argued that while he understands the concern from the victim’s family, he believes Svetich’s intentions were pure when he approached the girls that night, saying he had just dropped off an Uber passenger and saw the young girls late at night by themselves and wanted to help. He noted that while what Svetich did was inappropriate, he was ultimately concerned for their safety.

“Her represented himself in a way that was wrong and illegal,” Doolittle said.

He also argued that Svetich is someone who has taken responsibility for his actions and has begun treatment on his own ahead of sentencing. He said that the best way to serve him going forward would be to sentence him in a way that allowed for him to continue seeking necessary treatment and to keep working.

Svetich, speaking on his own behalf, apologized for the “pain and trauma” he caused.

In an emotional plea, he also requested a sentence that would allow him to maintain access to needed help and treatment.

“I offer a full acceptance of guilt, fault and responsibility not followed by any excuses but with a promise: to be better, to learn and to grow, to teach my boys that people in life will make mistakes but those mistakes won’t have to define who they are,” he said.

Lammons said that while he understood that Svetich did not have a criminal history prior to this, both cases were very serious and brought up concerns for community safety. While 18 months in prison was “not much,” Lammons said he would accept the agreement with “a great deal of reluctance,” adding that Svetich seeking treatment on his own is not a shield from punishment.

“I understand it is easy to pick on words, judges and lawyers use $20 words all the time,” he said. “These are crimes. These aren’t mistakes. These are crimes and not small (ones). These are crimes where children’s lives have been affected for the rest of their lives in serious ways.”

Lammons ultimately sentenced Svetich to 18 months in the Colorado Department of Corrections for the criminal impersonation case as well as 10 years of sex offender intensive supervised probation in the sexual exploitation case.



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