Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dad convicted of sexually assaulting two children (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Dad SHOAN LUKE has been convicted of sexually assaulting his two children. It seems Daddy maintained his reign of terror against his family through death threats and water torture. Of course, all Daddy can do is lie and counteraccuse his now ex-wife. What else is new....


Father convicted in child sexual assaults
BY ROBERT ALLEN • RobertAllen@coloradoan.com • December 11, 2010

A jury on Friday convicted former Fort Collins resident Shoan Luke, 43, on all four counts of sexual assault on two children, one of whom was his disabled son. The son, age 11, died of a pulmonary embolism in August.

The jury of four women and eight men began deliberating Thursday afternoon in 8th Judicial District Court and delivered a verdict shortly before noon Friday.

Luke, who faces 34 years to life in prison, showed no emotion as Judge Kenneth Plotz read the verdict.

Witnesses and family members sitting behind the prosecutors became teary-eyed on hearing the verdict, and they continued to show emotion after leaving the courtroom.

Supporters of Luke, including family members, sat behind him during the verdict.

Public defender Norm Townsend, who represented Luke in the two-week trial, declined comment after the verdict. Prosecutor Renee Doak also declined comment.

Luke lived in Kent, Wash., in February before he was arrested and extradited to Fort Collins in March. He had lived with his former wife - who was also his first cousin once-removed - and the boy in Fort Collins when the offenses occurred.

Prosecutors waited five years to bring charges against Luke because initial interviews in 2005 did not reveal enough evidence. Further interviews in 2009 with the alleged victims resulted in the charges.

Prosecutors argued that Luke kept his victims in constant fear by pointing weapons at them and threatening to kill members of their family if they reported the abuse. They also said Luke held one of his victims under water, attempting to drown him as part of the abuse.

Townsend had said the charges were false and that it was Luke's ex-wife who abused the child.

Ernie Rice, who said he is Luke's stepfather, observed the proceedings and spoke with the Coloradoan during the trial. He asked that his comments not be made public until after the verdict.

"It was shocking to hear the kids talk about those things, and the details," he said last week after testimonies that included one of the victims.

But he said their statements appeared flawed and he didn't believe Luke was guilty.

Other witnesses and family members declined to comment Friday.

Luke's sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Before sentencing, he is to be tried that day on whether he's a "habitual" offender.

Linda Jensen, spokeswoman with the district attorney's office, said that if the DA succeeds in proving the "habitual" counts, it would cause the sentence to be four times longer.

She also said the first two counts, Class 2 felonies regarding sexual assault on a child who is an at-risk victim, each carry a mandatory minimum of 16 years in prison because the jury found they were violent crimes. The sentences must be served consecutively.

Counts three and four, regarding sexual assault on a child, are punishable by four to 12 years in prison and could be served concurrently.

Plotz, former chief judge of the 11th Judicial District, presided over the trial in 8th District Judge Terence Gilmore's court. The substitution was made because Gilmore will no longer be available as a judge when sentencing occurs, according to a previous report.

Luke was convicted of:

> Count 1: sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust on an at-risk victim.

> Count 2: sexual assault on a child, pattern of abuse on an at-risk victim.

> Count 3: sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.

> Count 4: sexual assault on a child, pattern of abuse.