Mom sentenced in sex assault of teen

Wendy Crowell

A Grand Junction woman who admitted to a sexual affair with her son’s underage friend asked for forgiveness from the victim’s mother on Monday.

“I don’t have a Band-Aid big enough to put on that one,” Wendy Crowell told the mother during Crowell’s sentencing hearing, weeping as she spoke in court.

Crowell, 37, was speaking of the destroyed “best friend” relationship between her own son and the 15-year-old victim in her case with whom she said had sexual relations during the summer of 2012. In a letter to the judge, the boy’s mother said her son has been the subject of ridicule at school and experienced what a prosecutor called “difficulty in the dealing with life situations.”

Gurley on Monday sentenced Crowell to serve 10 years to life on intensive, sex offender-specific probation, while also allowing Crowell to have contact with her own young children.

The judge declined to impose a jail sentence. She must register as a sex offender.

Gurley also said he would likely approve a request from Crowell’s defense to transfer her supervision to Washington state.

Crowell pleaded guilty in October to sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

As part of the plea agreement, the District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss a related case alleging a violation of bail-bond conditions by Crowell. She faced a mandatory one-year prison sentence if convicted of violating bail-bond conditions. Free on bond after her initial arrest, Crowell was arrested again March 16 for allegedly being in contact with her own children, ages 8 and 6, at her home. Under a restraining order at the time, Crowell was prohibited from being around any children under the age of 18, including her own.

Crowell was arrested in February after the victim in the case told authorities he had sex with Crowell at least five times during the summer of 2012, according to an arrest affidavit. The affidavit said the boy described sex with Crowell in her bedroom and in her vehicle, telling detectives they’d parked at least twice at the end of a cul-de-sac in Crowell’s neighborhood.

The boy also described one occasion when Crowell “told him he should be 18 ... Wendy asked him if he could pretend to be 18 for the night.”

Public defender Scott Burrill said the affair happened during a “difficult” period when Crowell’s husband had been kicked out the family home for drug use. He’s since been sent to prison, Burrill said.

“This 100 percent excuses nothing what occurred,” Burrill told the judge. “But it does describe how it could have happened.”


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