SCOTTSBLUFF โ€” A Colorado man has been sentenced to prison in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

Scotts Bluff County District Court Judge Leo Dobrovolny sentenced Steven J. Barraza, 45, of Englewood, Colorado, to 10 to 20 years in prison at a hearing in Scotts Bluff County Court Thursday.

Barraza had agreed to a plea agreement in July, pleading no contest to charges of attempted first-degree sexual assault, a Class III felony; and committing child abuse, a Class IIIA felony. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years imprisonment on the first count and up to five years imprisonment on the second charge, to be served concurrently.

Allegations against Barraza surfaced in July 2018 when a social worker contacted the Scottsbluff Police Department to report that a 19-year-old woman had accused Barraza of assaulting her when she was 15 years old.

The woman had been interviewed by an investigator with another police department in October 2018, advising that she had taken art lessons from the defendant in 2013 to 2014. The woman told the investigator that Barraza had been messaging her on a private messaging app and had been giving her gifts. In February 2014, she alleged, the man picked her up and took her to his home, where he sexually assaulted her. She alleged Barraza assaulted her a second time, taking her to a hotel room and providing her alcohol.

Barraza was given credit for 266 days already served.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Maunette Loeks is the digital news editor of the Star-Herald. Contact her at 308-632-9054 or by email at mloeks@starherald.com.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.