Weld County man gets 72 years to life for sexually assaulting 9-year-old girl

Joseph Covington

GREELEY, Colo. — A judge sentenced a man to 72 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Joseph Covington, 34, was sentenced Thursday on charges of sexual assault on a child, kidnapping and enticement of a child.

Court documents said Covington assaulted the girl at his apartment in Greeley in July 2016 when she arrived at his home while looking to play with a child who also lived there.

Covington told the girl the young boy she was looking to play with was inside the residence when he wasn’t there.

“He then followed her in his apartment and sexually assaulted her for more than an hour-and-a-half in various rooms,” prosecutors said.

A jury convicted Covington in November.

“He tried to break her that day,” Weld Chief Deputy District Attorney Thea Carrasco told the judge during sentencing. “And frankly he came pretty darn close.

“He stole the innocence from this precious child. This little girl’s life will never be the same. But because of her bravery and courage, I have hope that she will be a survivor and not a victim of this man’s horrific crime for the rest of her life.”