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Graphic evidence leads to conviction

Cortez man faces lifetime sentence

A Cortez man could end up in prison for the rest of his life after being found guilty of sexually assaulting his common-law wife.

After more than three hours of deliberations on Monday, Aug. 10, a jury found Allen Dietz, 56, guilty on one count of sexual assault, three counts of third-degree assault, two counts of menacing and one count of harassment. Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker granted a defense request to dismiss a count of false imprisonment.

Held without bond, Dietz will be sentenced on Oct. 14. He faces a maximum of 24 years in prison, but that term could stretch into an indeterminate lifetime sentence pending a parole board decision, according to District Attorney Will Furse.

The convictions stem from three incidents inside the defendant’s home in June, July and August of 2014.

Last week, trial evidence revealed the victim, now 53, was repeatedly belittled with racial and sexual slurs. Three audio recordings made during the attacks revealed Dietz’s attempt to control and humiliate his common law wife with repeated disparaging remarks.

“You’re a mental (expletive) pygmy,” Dietz told her on June 29, 2014. “You’re a (expletive) empty posthole. You’re a (expletive) doorknob. You’re too (expletive) stupid.”

Introduced by prosecutors, the remarks were broadcast before a jury of eight men and six women on Thursday, Aug. 6. During the 38-minute tirade from that June recording, Dietz can also be heard slapping the alleged victim as she screams.

“Why did you record the conversation?” District Attorney Will Furse asked the alleged victim.

“I was scared he was going to get angry and beat me,” she replied from the witness stand. “I could see it coming.”

In another audio recording, an 82-minute exchange from July 9, 2014, Dietz instructs the alleged victim to light a cigarette, because she’s going to need one. He again degrades her while using sexual slurs.

“I want to knock you out,” Dietz told the woman. “You deserve it. You’ve earned it.”

Complaining to the woman that she has no table manners, Dietz vows that he would save others from her stupidity by killing her.

“No!” the woman screams. “No.”

The woman starts to cry. A loud thump is heard.

“Shut up!” Dietz demands. “I know the outgoing and incoming sheriff.”

In a 25-minute recording from Aug. 19, 2014, Dietz continues to use graphic language to exercise his power over the alleged victim.

“Do you want to pack your stuff with two black eyes?” Dietz asked, again telling the woman he was tired of her stupidity.

Moments later, Dietz is heard threatening the woman to engage in oral sex as he continues to demean her with sexual slurs.

“Make me moan (expletive),” Dietz said. “Feed (expletive), feed.”

On the witness stand for a total of 11 minutes on Monday, Dietz admitted to menacing and harassing the victim, but he denied ever sexually assaulting his wife, claiming it was consensual.

Initially charged with 15 counts, Furse said he agreed to merge the charges in order to avoid a possible appellate review.

“We conceded that some of the counts were duplicative,” Furse said via telephone on Tuesday.