Sexual exploitation plea to bring 20-year sentence

A Montrose man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

By entering the plea, Michael B. Young, 52, will be spared the possibility of an indeterminate prison sentence that could have applied had he been convicted of the 14 sexual assault on a child charges that were initially filed against him. Those charges were among a total of 42 that were filed and are to be dismissed.

The plea agreement entered Wednesday stipulates a 20-year prison term on five counts of sexual exploitation of children. The offense usually carries between four and 12 years, or 24 years of aggravated factors are proved.

Formal sentencing is March 30, at which time the presiding judge will decide whether to accept the plea agreement and move forward. If she does not, Young will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and proceed to trial on the original counts.

Young was arrested in 2020 after three women reported through an advocate in another state that he had victimized them when they were children. They did not disclose abuse as children because their caregiver would not allow them to, according to Young’s arrest affidavit.

When that person died, they gained the courage to speak out about what they endured during their childhood, according to the document. After their disclosure, another victim came forward.

Three victims were present in court Wednesday and another listened by phone. They declined to address the court when asked if they had an opinion about the plea offer, but indicated through the prosecutor that they would like to speak at Young’s sentencing.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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