Mark W. Shaddock, school behavioral specialist, gets prison sentence for sexual contact with a minor
January 10, 2011
A former counselor at Alamo Navajo Community School was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for criminal sexual contact and penetration of a minor during incidents that occurred in 2009 while he and a 15-year old girl were alone at her home.
Mark William Shaddock, 45, learned his fate during an emotional sentencing hearing in district court in Socorro on Thursday. The 17 months he's already spent behind bars — much of it in solitary confinement — will count toward his sentence. He will also be subject to mandatory sentencing of one year parole and will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years after he gets out of prison.
Seventh Judicial District Court Judge Matt Reynolds rendered the sentence after hearing from the victim's mother, who tearfully read through a letter written by her daughter, and from Shaddock and his wife.
Shaddock pled guilty to four fourth-degree felonies in a plea agreement after originally being charged with 13 felony counts ranging from kidnapping to criminal sexual penetration.
The girl was a student at the school in Alamo, an isolated chapter of the Navajo Nation located in a remote part of Socorro County.
The girl testified during a previous hearing that Shaddock would come over to her house while her parents were at work, coax her brother to leave by offering his car keys, and begin molesting her after her brother left. She said Shaddock reached under her clothes and touched her breasts and genitalia during incidents on two separate dates in June 2009 at a staff housing unit for school employees.
Breach of Trust
The girl's mother fought back tears while reading a letter she said her daughter wrote hours before.
The teenager wrote that she had grown to trust Shaddock, a behavioral specialist at the school who had become a family friend, and it was "sickening" what he had done to her. She also wrote that his actions had a devastating affect on her family.
"He has made our lives miserable, and it will take time to fix," she wrote. "I hope no one has to go through this kind of experience. He needs to pay for his wrongdoing. I hope justice will prevail."
Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Burwell noted that a psychologist's report from a 60-day diagnostic examination indicated Shaddock had denied the offenses and blamed the girl for making advances.
But Shaddock showed remorse on Tuesday, sobbing while telling the judge that he had crossed the line and was now willing to take responsibility for his actions.
"As I reflect back on it, yes, my hands were on the victim in places they should not have been," he said.
Shaddock then apologized to the girl and her family.
"I have made their lives miserable; I have also made my own life miserable," he said. "I know God will forgive me, and I hope they will too."
'Not a Monster'
Shaddock's wife, Sherri, told the judge that she and her three children were victims, too, and both families needed closure.
She said her husband's admission that his hands were where they shouldn't have been was a surprise to her, but she was willing to forgive.
"I still love him and so do his children," she said, adding that she knows her husband is a kind and caring man. "He is not the monster everyone thinks he is. When he is released, he'll have a home to go to in Colorado."
Sherri Shaddock said it was against her religious beliefs to consider divorcing her husband.
"He has lost so much confidence, he's lost self respect and he's lost his career, which he worked so hard for, but he will not lose his family," she said, and then turning to her husband. "I want you to know, Mark, that we'll be there when you get out."
Shaddock's attorney, Lee Deschamps, asked the judge to sentence his client to probation, saying that Shaddock had suffered enough in his life.
Deschamps said Shaddock had a troubled childhood and problems continued for him into his adult years. The attorney alluded to beatings Shaddock suffered during his time in jail and a beating he took while serving as a counselor at a juvenile detention center. The attorney said his client had lost his profession and has been separated from his family during his 17 months in confinement.
"I think he's been punished as much as anyone can be punished," Deschamps said.
But Reynolds wasn't convinced by the appeals. He said he had concerns about portions of the diagnostic report, which labeled Shaddock somewhat predatory and a moderate risk to repeat the behavior. Reynolds also was critical of Shaddock for his reluctance to admit to the offenses and placing the blame on the girl.
The judge said he had to consider the case on a factual basis, noting that Shaddock pled guilty to multiple incidents that occurred over the course of several days.
"I see many victims, but do not see Mr. Shaddock as a victim," Reynolds said before levying the sentence.
The victim's parents quickly left the courtroom after the sentence was read. Shaddock was led out by jail attendants, while his wife remained in the courtroom and broke down in tears.
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