Plea Deal Announced In Church Day Care Molestation Case
DENVER (CBS4) – A 20-year-old Denver man accused of sexually assaulting children at a church day care center will not stand trial.
Benjamin Janicki entered a guilty plea in court Monday morning to two counts of first degree assault and two counts of attempted sexual assault on a child. He was charged after being accused of molesting four preschool-aged children at the Park Hill United Methodist Church.
Janicki worked as an aid at Park Hill United last summer when he was 19.
Originally the charges Janicki faced stemmed from four victims. On Monday during court proceedings it was revealed that five more victims were added to the list.
The plea deal followed a long negotiation between the Denver District Attorney’s office and Janicki’s attorneys. Lynn Kimbrough with the DA’s office said the negotiations were made to spare the nine children who attended the day care from having to take the stand in a trial and re-live the abuse. Kimbrough also said there were no guarantees Janicki would have been convicted if he went to trial.
Part of the negotiations were for Janicki to plead guilty to the two first degree assault counts. That was not one of the original charges but it will ensure he will have to serve most of his sentence.
“Whatever he is sentenced to in July, he will have to serve 75 percent of that prison sentence because it is designated as a crime of violence,” Kimbrough said.
Janicki is scheduled to be sentenced in July. He faces a minumum of 20 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Part of the plea deal also includes 10 years of sex offender intensive supervised probation — that means he’ll be under a strict watch when he gets out of prison. If he violates that probation, he will have to go back to prison for an additional 12 years.
Some of the victims’ parents were in court on Monday but didn’t wish to speak to CBS4 about their reactions to the news of the plea deal.