Colorado Coach Found Guilty of Rape
Craig Debiase, a coach at Bishop Machebuf High School in Denver received a second prison term after being found guilty of raping student-athletes he was coaching.
Debiase was accused in 2005 and, with a plea agreement was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison but was released on probation after only serving 16 months. One of his victims at the time was a 14-year-old girl who said she was not involved with the coach. However, the now 31-year-old woman was ready to face him.
She stood before the judge and said:
“He preyed on us,” the victim told Judge John Scipione. “He is a repeat sex offender and has never been appropriately punished for what he has done.” “It is impossible to address the lifelong impacts that come from being abused and manipulated,” this was a debilitating relationship, all about control and manipulation. I was 31 before I was able to accept that what he did to me was not love but was rape.”
The abuse began in 2002 when she was not yet a teenager. According to prosecutors, there were eight others who were abused by him as well and the judge handed down a twelve-year sentence, the maximum allowed after another plea agreement was reached and eight other charges were dropped.
After sentencing, the District Attorney, George Brauchler was quoted as saying:
Predators seek out safe places to have access to their victims, including our children,” Brauchler said. “They try to hide their lascivious actions by counting on the shame and guilt of their hand-picked victims, leaving them to struggle for the rest of their lives after the gross betrayal of trust. Here, it was only the courage of the victim — even 17 years later — that brought this child sex offender to justice. I hope justice for this victim helps in her healing process and serves as a light for others who have experienced the trauma of sexual assault.”
There is no statute of limitations on cases such as these involving children.