Former Basalt teacher sentenced to 90 days in jail, probation in sexual assault case
A former choir teacher at Basalt High School was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in Garfield County Jail and an undetermined time on probation for a sexual relationship with a male student.
Brittany von Stein, 26, was ordered to report to jail at 6 p.m. Wednesday. She will get credit for one day of time previously served.
After she is released from jail this fall, she will spend at least 10 years and possibly her entire life on probation, said Garfield County District Judge James Boyd.
He ruled she must register as a sex offender and undergo therapy. She was also ordered to pay $3,235.11 in restitution, though the nature of the expense wasn’t clear in the hearing.
Von Stein’s attorney, Michael Fox, sought a sentence for probation without incarceration. Zac Parsons, an assistant district attorney with the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, sought a prison sentence. Boyd settled on a combination after a two-hour hearing Wednesday.
“Ms. von Stein, this is the kind of case, because of its seriousness, that one could view the sentence as a close call, the choice between probation and prison,” Boyd said. “I mention that only to emphasize that you need to very careful. This is a very long probation and you need to be very careful that you follow all of its requirements. If for some reason you would have to come back before the court, the outcome might be very, very different. I hope you find a way to use the talents you have in positive ways and to eliminate the negative ways you have used them in the past.”
Von Stein pleaded guilty in July to one count of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a class four felony. Four counts of sexual assault on a child showing a pattern were dismissed.
Testimony during court appearances showed von Stein had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student who attended Basalt High School. The encounters occurred at her apartment in Carbondale, so she was charged in Garfield County District Court. Basalt High School is located in Eagle County.
The court hearing was held by teleconference because of the coronavirus pandemic. The victim and his family didn’t speak. Von Stein spoke and offered an apology. She said she accepted full responsibility without excuses.
“As a result of my conduct, I created a victim,” she said.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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