GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) — Update: Dante Larks was sentenced to 122 years in prison.
“I will suffer with a diagnosis of PTSD for the rest of my life, I still struggle with the sound of footsteps above me because I hear him pacing on the floorboards and wonder if tonight is the night, he’ll be coming down the stairs,” the victim told the court while asking for the maximum sentence for Larks. “I panic when someone walks by me because I remember how he’d grabbed me from behind. I can’t handle even the thought of someone grabbing my ankles because I remember how he grabbed mine before he raped me. But what I’m not doing is playing the victim, because I’m not a victim. I spent years being made to feel broken because he successfully convinced the world I was crazy. But I’m not broken. He is — Dante Larks is broken.”
His sentencing was as follows:
- Count 1: 48 years up to a maximum of life in the Department of Corrections, mandatory 20-year parole
- Count 2: 12 years up to a maximum of life in the Department of Corrections, 20-year to life parole
- Counts 3-4: 24 years up to a maximum of life in the Department of Corrections, mandatory parole for 20 years to life
- Count 14: 32 years because of a severe pattern of child abuse
- Count 15: Six years to a maximum of life in the Department of Corrections, mandatory parole for 10 years to life
“This was all turned into some way to make PTSD a crime, something that can’t be proven, and by doing what is being done in this court, it’s opening this Pandora’s box,” Larks said addressing the court at his sentencing. “Throwing me in a prison for the rest of my life, I don’t see how that’s beneficial for crimes that they say I’m going to commit. A hit list, I’m not that guy. People that know me know I’m not that guy. They just get caught up in whatever this is.”
According to the judge, the court is not considering rehabilitation because the crimes were intentionally cruel, finding Larks unsusceptible to any kind of treatment.
Original: A Dacono man could spend more than a century in prison after being convicted of locking a child in a basement and sexually assaulting the victim on multiple occasions.
Dante Larks could spend 142 years in prison. In 2018, police investigated Larks for domestic violence and in 2019, the Weld District Attorney’s Office investigated Larks for child abuse and child sexual assault allegations.
According to the DA, their investigation revealed that a child was verbally, physically, emotionally and sexually abused by Larks.
The victim told police that Larks would lock them in an unfinished basement for multiple nights over a period of several months. The child was not allowed out of the basement except for only a few hours a day, investigators said.
The child also told investigators that Lark would throw peanuts down the stairs and that was all the food the child would eat most days.
When the child eventually would fall asleep, that is when Lark would sexually assault the victim while being armed with a gun.
“This case is by far, one of the most horrific and egregious cases that our office has ever seen,” Weld
District Attorney Michael Rourke said. “No child should ever experience the horror and trauma that this child will now have to live forever with. This is why we do what we do each day. We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure monsters like this will never have an opportunity to harm another child.”
According to the DA, after three years of litigation and three weeks of trial, a jury found Larks guilty of multiple charges.
Larks was convicted of:
- Sexual assault with a deadly weapon
- Child abuse causing serious bodily injury
- Two counts of sex assault on a child – position of trust and pattern of abuse
Larks is now facing 142 years to life in the Colorado Department of Corrections. His sentencing is set for Monday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m.