GOLDEN, Colo. — A Jefferson County jury convicted a man of repeatedly abusing at-risk youth he was hired to protect.
William Wayne Sexton, 55, was convicted on all counts following a four-day trial. The jury deliberated for fewer than 2 1/2 hours.
The most serious charges, unanimously agreed upon by the jury, were three counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust – pattern of sexual abuse.
Those charges could put Sexton in prison for the rest of his life when he’s sentenced June 24.
The other convictions included unlawful sexual contact, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and violation of his bail bond (for contacting one of his victims while he was out of jail for molesting another one of his victims.)
As part of a previous FOX31 Problem Solvers investigation, we discovered Sexton supervised and lived with a house-full of at-risk boys at a Lakewood home.
“Bridgeway,” operated by the Denver non-profit Savio House, was supposed to be a sanctuary for the kids, who were all court-ordered to be there by the state.
Instead, Sexton used his position to groom, then repeatedly sexually assault five juveniles under his care, according to police and court records.
Last year, a FOX31 Problem Solvers investigation found state welfare inspectors repeatedly investigated Sexton for alleged sexual abuse of children prior to his arrest. However, state officials always cleared him and a let him remain supervisor without restrictions.
On Friday, a Jefferson County jury made up of nine women and three men sent a loud message: they believe the victims.
Jefferson County Deputy District Attorney Amelia Sapp led the successful prosecution during trail.
“I think what happened in those four walls was something that the defendant wanted silenced – didn’t want those boys to have a voice. Being able to work with these juveniles to give them a chance to tell their story and to be heard was very gratifying, not only for themselves, but also for their families who felt the impact of the abuse,” she told FOX31 after the verdict Friday.