Society

Former Police Officer Gets Probation For Child Abuse Charge

| by Lisa Fogarty

A Colorado police officer was sentenced Monday to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for abusing his 15-year-old daughter.

Jeremy Yachik of Berthoud was fired from his job after his daughter claimed he was physically abusive toward her on a daily basis for several years, reports ABC 7 News Denver. She said he beat her with ropes, starved her, forced her to eat hot sauce, restrained her hands with handcuffs and plastic zip ties, choked her until she passed out, and slammed her head into a wall.

The Berthoud Police Department reportedly failed to investigate her claims at first, and the case was taken over by Loveland Police, reports the Reporter-Herald.

According to an affidavit, Yachik confessed to several abusive acts because his teen wouldn’t “communicate” with him. He was arrested on Oct. 23 and charged with four counts of child abuse resulting in injury and one count of false imprisonment. The former cop didn’t plead guilty, but entered an Alford plea, which means he agreed to accept that evidence against him might convince a jury that he is guilty of the charges.

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Yachik’s fiancé and neighbor, Stevie Swanger, testified on his behalf – as did a pastor from his church. On the stand, Swanger blamed Yachik’s ex-fiance, Ashley Saint-Roberts, for creating problems between him and his daughter. She insisted that he is a good father.

“My question to the court is when is enough enough?” Swanger asked. “So many lives and families have been affected in this case, so many who have been innocent bystanders.”

But Saint-Roberts stuck to her guns about the abuse charges and even produced a 13-second video in court that reportedly showed the man hitting his daughter.

The teen also spoke on the stand and said she has had to deal with headaches, night terrors, depressions, and anxiety because of her father’s abuse. She also insisted she wants to have a relationship with her father after he “gets help.”

“I don’t hate him as a person,” the teen said. “I hate the things that he did.”

Yachik will begin his work-release program on Sept. 1. He must also complete 80 hours of community service within 18 months after the start of his probation and will not be allowed to see his daughter during that time.

Sources: ABC 7 News Denver, Reporter-Herald