Second man pleads guilty in child rape case
A second man charged with sexually assaulting a child has pleaded guilty under a deal that will cap his sentence at 20 years in prison.
On April 29, Daniel A. Gutierrez, 26, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, criminal attempt to commit sexual assault and to probation violations. Under the plea agreement, the court can sentence Gutierrez from 16 to 20 years in prison with three years mandatory parole and restitution. Gutierrez will be required to register as a sex offender.
Gutierrez didn’t comment aside from entering his guilty plea. Grand County District Court Judge Mary Hoak will sentence him on July 22.
Judge Hoak questioned the plea deal in court after she previously sentenced 48-year-old Eric Cordero to 18 years in prison for the same charges under a slightly different deal. Cordero’s plea agreement set the range at 15-18 years incarceration.
In response, 14th Judicial District Chief Deputy Attorney Kathryn Dowdell explained that there was a stronger case against Gutierrez and that he has a previous criminal history, including assault.
“The defendant who has already pleaded and was sentenced confessed, and the people did not have a whole lot of evidence against (Cordero),” Dowdell said.
Gutierrez was arrested in February 2020 after the Grand County Sheriff’s Office received evidence from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation tying him to the rape case involving Cordero and 51-year-old Larry Darnell of Kremmling.
Cordero and Darnell were arrested by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in early February 2020 after a year and a half long investigation.
Gutierrez originally faced two charges of sexual assault. The case continues for Darnell, who’s accused of repeatedly drugging and raping the child, and allowing Cordero and Gutierrez to assault the child in his presence.
Darnell is facing several charges of sexual assault of a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual exploitation of a child and possessing material of child sexual exploitation. He remains in Grand County Jail on a $1 million bond and is scheduled to be in court on May 27.
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