Silverthorne sexual assault sentencing delayed; defendant faces mandatory 16 to 48 to life
January 8, 2018
A man convicted of sexual assault who faces more than a decade in prison is back in custody after running into complications with his bond. Additionally, his Monday sentencing hearing was pushed to Feb. 5 after he dismissed his attorney just days before.
Paul Dee Garvin, convicted of class-two felony sexual assault after a trial in October, was arrested on Dec. 28 after the District Attorney's Office told the court that the property he posted to cover his $120,000 bond was inadequate.
Garvin had also begun but not completed a mandatory sex offender evaluation, District Attorney Bruce Brown said. In another wrinkle, prosecutors argued on Monday that his bond should increase to $500,000 because he is not probation eligible, as was initially thought.
"Because the activity was found to be in concert with others, he faces a minimum of 16 to life," Brown said. "That doesn't mean he gets life, but he has to serve a minimum prison term before he is eligible for parole."
Judge Karen Romeo re-set Garvin's bond at $250,000 on Monday. He had not posted bond and remained in custody as of Monday afternoon, the Summit County Sheriff's Office confirmed.
Garvin was scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, facing 16 to 48 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in a Silverthorne apartment in March 2016. Three other men present were also charged and await trial.
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The incident was captured on four graphic cell phone videos shown privately to a jury during a lengthy trial in late October.
During testimony, Garvin said the woman initiated the sexual encounter and appeared lucid and aware.
The prosecution prevailed, however, relying on photos of the woman's injuries and the cell phone videos. The victim testified that although she didn't remember much of the night, she wouldn't have consented to what prosecutors called a "gang-rape."
In a Friday, Jan. 5 minute order, Judge Romeo granted Garvin's request to dismiss his attorney, Todd Barson, and rescheduled the hearing for Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. The court assigned attorney Dana Christiansen to serve as Garvin's alternate defense counsel.
"At the time of conviction, probation was on the table, but now the prosecution believes only a mandatory prison sentence is on the table," Christiansen said. "The statute would seem to call for that, but the question is whether other options are available to the court."
It is likely that Garvin will appeal his conviction, but not until after the February sentencing, Christiansen said.
"It would be unusual for someone convicted of a felony at trial to not appeal, but what he plans to do I can't say at the moment."
In a Jan. 4 letter to Judge Romeo, Garvin said he did not think he received a fair trial, citing "several discrepancies in regards to (his) case." He also wrote that he was "aware of several jury members" reading media coverage of his case during the trial in violation of the court's instructions.
Two of Garvin's co-defendants, Justin Erwin and Michael Gelber, will be tried together. Their cases were re-assigned to a judge in Eagle County after their attorneys successfully argued that the DA's office had improperly steered them to Judge Romeo's court. The DA's office said it was merely trying to avoid scheduling conflicts.
The final defendant, Ramon Villa, pleaded not guilty in December. The public defenders representing him have filed a motion to change the trial venue out of Summit County. Judge Mark Thompson is expected to rule on that issue during a Friday hearing.