Diego Posada, the former Walmart eye doctor accused of molesting children in his office, has been sentenced in a plea deal that avoids a trial on felony charges that could have stripped him of his professional license.
District Court Judge John E. Popovich, Jr sentenced Posada to one year in the Adams County Jail, the maximum for a Class 2 misdemeanor. Posada will be required to register as a sex offender.
Posada’s defense attorney says his client will fight any effort by state regulators to strip Posada of his professional license but he noted that Posada plans to leave the country for his native Colombia upon his release. Posada’s license has been under suspension since last year.
Posada, 43, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child abuse resulting in injury, a charge created for the purpose of the plea bargain, naming both alleged victims from incidents in 2006 and 2010. Posada had been facing a trial on felony child sex assault charges.
“Sometimes juries get it wrong,” defense attorney David Jones said. “It was just not a risk that he was willing to take.”
Had Posada been convicted of a felony, he would have lost his professional license.
Posada’s defense attorney said his client did nothing wrong and that prosecutors had a flimsy case based on questionable work by the Commerce City Police Department. Jones said the parents of the alleged child victims were motivated by money.
As Posada arrived at his sentencing hearing, he served with a civil lawsuit on behalf of an alleged victim’s family. The lawsuit, which also names Walmart as a defendant, requests damages for claims including negligence and infliction of emotional distress.
Investigators found Posada’s eye care clinic inside the Commerce City Walmart was covered in semen.
Posada’s attorney said that seemingly damning piece of evidence had an explanation that, while distasteful, is unrelated to accusations of child sex assault: Posada masturbated in his office while watching adult pornography found in a VCR.
“We can call it creepy but that does not make him a pedophile,” Jones said.
Prosecutors told the judge that Posada had preyed upon children in the Spanish-speaking population near the Walmart store.
“These children were targeted because they were not likely to come forward,” prosecutor David Goddard said. “I do not believe that was by mistake.”
One alleged victim’s older brother, who 9NEWS is not naming to protect his sister’s identity, asked the judge to sentence Posada to jail time.
“He destroyed her mentally. She’s not the same girl anymore,” her brother said. “He destroyed a family.”
Posada rose to make a short statement prior to sentencing.
“I’m not the kind of person I’m portrayed to be,” Posada said. “A lot of lives have been destroyed, unfortunately.”
Posada, who had been free on bond, was immediately taken into custody and led from the courtroom in handcuffs.
This article originally appeared on 9news