A 44-year-old man who pleaded guilty to amended assault and child abuse charges was sentenced to jail and probation on Monday.
Charles Allan Olson was sentenced to 120 days in the Cache County Jail and a term of probation.
During Olson’s sentencing, defense attorney Wayne Caldwell argued for the 120-days sentence to be served on an ankle monitor. Caldwell said Olson was gainfully employed and had maintained that employment despite a commute from outside the county.
Caldwell said his client was low risk, had no criminal history and had lots of “positive things in his life.” What’s more, Caldwell said Olson had been completely cooperative with law enforcement in the case.
“He didn’t try to hide or minimize in any way,” Caldwell said.
For Caldwell, Olson’s form of discipline was not being imposed out of anger and he had since been working toward being involved with his family.
Olson declined to address the court.
Cache County prosecutor Griffin Hazard said many of the mitigating circumstances presented by Caldwell had been acknowledged by the state, but “repeated abuse” had been reported by the victims. Hazard said the victims didn’t believe the discipline was intended to harm and one victim reported being better for it.
Judge Brandon Maynard said he was “very surprised” by the recommendation and imposed a sentence of 120 days in jail with credit for 11 days served. Maynard expressed concern about Olson’s behavior and referenced a statement from a victim in an affidavit filed with the court; officers wrote Olson “used to spank her with his hand however it hurt his hand so he started using sticks.”
“I just don’t get it,” Maynard said.
Olson pleaded guilty in July to one count of third-degree aggravated assault, amended from a first-degree felony, and four counts of class-A child abuse, each amended from second-degree felonies. As part of a plea agreement six second-degree felonies were dismissed, the state agreed to a further reduction of charges if probation was completed successfully and Olson was not to be placed on the child abuse registry.
According to an affidavit filed with the court, five children disclosed incidents of abuse. Officers wrote Olson inflicted injuries on the children during disciplinary instances. The affidavit states Olson utilized sticks to discipline the children who identified the implements by various names.
Olson was ordered to report to the jail on Friday and was granted work release.