William Crowther sentenced to jail, ‘lifetime’ probation for sexual assault of a child

William Crowther

ALAMOSA — William Crowther, 62, of Sanford, appeared in District Court last Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to sexual assault on a child, a Class 4 felony, and unlawful sexual contact, a Class 1 misdemeanor. District Court Judge Kimberly Cortez presided in the case.

In March of 2023, Crowther was initially charged with sexual assault of a child by one in a position of trust, a Class 3 felony, and child abuse (non-injury), a Class 2 misdemeanor.

As was reflected in the resolution, District Attorney Anne Kelly, who was prosecuting the case, agreed to amended charges in exchange for Crowther pleading guilty.

As was stipulated in the resolution, Judge Cortez sentenced Crowther to 365 days in jail on the unlawful sexual contact charge. For the charge of sexual assault on a child, Crowther will be on “intensive sexual offense probation for the rest of his natural life”, a sentence that, as Kelly describes it, will include a “very invasive and intrusive level of supervision.”

Crowther is also prohibited from contact with anyone under the age of 18 years old while he is on probation.

“This is what the court has ordered. Even if other members of the family feel that Mr. Crowther could have contact with some children in the family, it would be entirely inappropriate and illegal for him to have contact with any child,” Kelly said.

When asked why she chose to agree to probation instead of a sentence in the Department of Corrections (DOC), Kelly said that pursuing that charge would have certainly involved the victim being required to testify.

“Although the family has been very strong throughout this entire process,” having the child testify is not something the family wanted, Kelly said, adding that she understood their concerns.

“It is always very traumatic for a child who has been victimized to then be put on the stand and subjected to questions about the incident.”

Also, as Kelly described it, due to Colorado law, being sentenced to DOC for sexual assault on a child would essentially be a life sentence.

“What was most important to the family — and to me — was to see him plead guilty to sexual assault on a child. We got that,” Kelly said. “And the level and type of supervision Mr. Crowther will be under for the rest of his life is invasive enough that the likelihood of him ever doing anything similar again is greatly diminished.”

Crowther was superintendent of Sargent Schools until, according to redacted arrest documents obtained by the Valley Courier from the Conejos County court, he resigned on Feb. 6, 2023, just two days before Feb. 8, when the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received a report of the allegations.

Upon receiving the report, the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) immediately launched an extensive investigation with assistance from the Children’s Advocacy Center, an agency that is part of the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice. The results of the investigation were filed with District Attorney Kelly’s office, which resulted in a warrant for Crowther’s arrest being issued and executed on March 6.

“William Crowther grossly violated the trust of his family and community,” Kelly said in a statement to the Valley Courier following Friday’s sentencing. “The criminal justice system cannot heal the pain and suffering his actions have caused. Watching the Conejos Sheriff’s Office handcuff and take to jail a man that once enjoyed the trust of the community serves as a reminder that our community will hold sexual offenders accountable for the lives they destroy. The defendant will be intensively supervised as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The Conejos Sheriff’s Office did an outstanding job investigating this case.”