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THORNTON, Colo. – A man who served as an assistant pastor for a Thornton church will spend 13 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child.
An Adams County district judge handed down the prison sentence against Robert Wyatt, 51, Tuesday after Wyatt’s guilty plea to child sex assault charges on July 18.
Prosecutors say Wyatt repeatedly sexually assaulted a girl beginning when she was 12 for two years while serving as the assistant pastor of Agape Bible Church in Thornton. The victim and her family attended the church, 8761 Huron Street in Thornton, Wyatt worked at as an assistant pastor.
According to prosecutors, Wyatt used his position in the church to gain the trust from the victim, now 15, and her parents and attained access to her by homeschooling and taking her on what he described as a “field trip” to a hotel where he sexually assaulted her.
Wyatt was charged in September of last year, but prosecutors said church leaders and the girl’s father tried to keep Wyatt’s crimes from being reported to police, which the judge was critical of during Tuesday’s sentencing.
“I’m still shocked at how certain adults responded to this,” Judge Don Quick said. “She didn’t put him in prison. He put himself in prison.”
Judge Quick added those who "attempted to hide him from justice share blame."