Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Sexual assault conviction overturned for former Berthoud police officer

July 16, 2020 | Local News

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

A Colorado appeals court at the end of June overturned the 2016 sexual assault conviction of Jeremy Yachik, a former Berthoud police officer and granted a new trial in the case.

In its decision that was released June 25, the appeals court ruled that the trial court “abused its discretion” and “erroneously admitted evidence” related to Yachik’s prior child abuse conviction involving the same victim. The court has ruled that the evidence presented was “irrelevant, prejudicial and encouraged the jury to convict the defendant based upon … that he had a bad character” instead of convicting Yachik based on the evidence pertinent to the accusation of sexual assault. The Court wrote in its decision, “there is a reasonable probability that the graphic extensive, and detailed physical abuse evidence contributed to (Yachik’s) conviction.” A retrial for the alleged crimes that took place on Aug. 1, 2010 has been ordered.

Yachik was fired from the Berthoud Police Department in October of 2014 after he allegedly admitted to the abuse. After this event, the police chief resigned and the Town of Berthoud dissolved the police and began contracting with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.

In December 2016, a jury found Yachik guilty of two counts of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust, a Class 3 felony. Yachik was sentenced in January 2017 to 32 years in prison which was 16 years for each count.

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