Former deputy sheriff gets eight years |

Former deputy sheriff gets eight years

Veronica Whitney

A former Eagle County deputy sheriff was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for a sexual offense. District Judge Tom Moorhead gave Jimmy Ray Engle, 46, the maximum sentence for the charge he was facing.

Engle, who was a sheriff’s deputy in Eagle County from 1991 to 1995, was arrested in 1996 and charged with sexual assault on a child. He was convicted for inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl in Eagle County between 1994 and 1995.

Engle, who served 160 days after his 1996 arrest, was arrested recently after violating his probation by having contact with juveniles and not contacting his probation officer, said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

“This is a horrendous crime and the victim will not get over this in all her life,” Hurlbert told Moorhead. “It will most likely affect her relationships in the future.”

Hurlbert said he was asking for the maximum sentence because Engle wasn’t taking responsibility.

“The defendant had enough opportunities and he didn’t contact his probation officer and he had contact with juveniles, which is a significant thing,” Hurlbert said. “He was given chance after chance.”

When sentencing Engle, who had also violated his deferred judgment sentence, Moorhead said he couldn’t disregard the seriousness of the complaint.

“Based upon the conduct during probation, we can’t consider rehabilitation,” Moorhead said.

“I can’t believe you’ve ever taken responsibility for the crime,” he told Engle before sentencing him to eight years in prison. “You have deeply hurt this woman and her mother.”

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at

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