Yachik avoids trial, accepts plea agreement
By John Gardner
Former Berthoud Police officer Jeremy Yachick entered a plea agreement on Friday, April 25, and will avoid trial in his child-abuse case. The agreement vacates the four-day trial that was scheduled to begin on May 12.
The agreement had Yachick enter a guilty plea to one count of misdemeanor child abuse, pursuant to Alford, which means that Yachik doesn’t admit committing the act he was charged with but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge if the case proceeded to trial. However, the court still recognizes the entry of the guilty plea in the case.
According to the agreement, the remaining three child-abuse charges and one count of false imprisonment, all misdemeanors, will be dropped.
Yachik was fired from the Berthoud Police Department in October 2013 after being arrested for allegedly abusing his then 15-year-old daughter in July 2012. He pleaded not guilty to those charges in Larimer County Court on Dec. 2.
After Yachik was arrested and charged in the case, former Berthoud Police Chief Glenn Johnson resigned amid an internal investigation of the department to determine if any police policies were violated when Johnson received an email detailing the alleged abuse. Yachik’s ex-girlfriend, Ashley Saint-Roberts, first emailed Johnson the allegations in April 2013, but received no response, she claimed. She then emailed a video of the alleged abuse to Berthoud town trustees and Town Administrator Mike Hart, Loveland Police and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and several news outlets in September 2013.
The video showed Yachik kicking and hitting a girl who was lying on the floor. According to court documents, Yachik admitted to being the person in the video who was doing the kicking and hitting. Investigators also reported that Yachik’s daughter said that the abuse had occurred for years. She detailed alleged abuse including being restrained with zip ties or handcuffs, being punished by withholding food, and being choked out to the point of unconsciousness on several occasions, among others.
Yachik told Denver’s Channel 4 News in December that Johnson determined the incident not to be abuse and didn’t report it as such. However, the Loveland Police department opened an investigation in September after they were notified.
The case led to the internal investigation of the Berthoud PD which ultimately led to the dissolution of the department and the town contracting law enforcement services with the sheriff’s office.
Yachik is due back in court for sentencing on July 14.
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