Torrington man receives sentence for felony child abuse

TORRINGTON – A Torrington man was sentenced after pleading guilty to felony child abuse Monday afternoon at the Goshen County Courthouse.

Conor Mead was given a suspended sentence of no less than eight years, no more than 10 of incarceration based on factual evidence presented before the court, which involved the infliction of physical harm upon a 9-year-old boy. After reaching a plea agreement, Mead was given three years supervised probation.

“As I said in the pre-sentencing, I am sorry for what happened,” Mead said. “I know what happened was unfortunate. I’ve been around my daughter since she was born, and my stepson since he was a baby. I’ve taken some time to not see them, and I didn’t mean any malicious stuff. We had a hard time bonding together, it was unfortunate how things turned out, and I do regret it.”

Representing the defense of Mead, Attorney Eric McDonald spoke on behalf of his client, advocating Mead has been compliant in completing battery intervention courses, random drug testing and meeting the terms of his bond.

“During February, he started [with] the Batterer Intervention group,” McDonald said. “Prior to that back in August of 2022, he did seek medical and mental health treatment, and has been on medication, while participating in [therapy] groups since last August.”

McDonald continued, “I think he will continue to grow in that and gain the benefits of it. The purpose of probation is to improve themselves thorough probation and improve in society. Mr. Mead would, as part of his probation within the limitations of supervision, like supervised visitation with his children.”

According to McDonald, Mead has not had any visitation with his children since being charged.

Mead’s probation officer, Amanda Waldron of the Casper Probation and Parole Office, also spoke on behalf of her client’s compliance throughout the terms of his case and probational terms.

“I have supervised Mr. Mead since the start of his probation and agree with the recommendation of Mr. McDonald,” Waldron said. “Mr. Mead has attended all Batterer Intervention groups, he has random drug testing and has not failed any. He is taking mental health medications, I have seen changes in his behavior and I hope that continues. At this time he is in full compliance, and I do not have any concerns about him being on probation. At this time, Mr. Mead is living with his parents, the home is appropriate and I don’t have any concerns with children being in the home. Given that he has not failed any drug tests, I’m willing to continue drug testing and monitoring visits with his children.”

Goshen County prosecuting attorney, Eric Boyer, was retelling of the fact that although Mead has been compliant with his terms while out on bond, this does not remove the apparent violence that had been inflicted on a child nevertheless.

“The state still stands by the plea agreement that the victim in this case is not Mr. Mead’s biological child,” Boyer said. “I suggest any visitation between the defendant and his own daughter needs to be dealt with in a child custody visitation contact. My understanding is that it is unusual for a court to provide as much information as Ms. Waldron has. I am glad that Mr. Mead has completed programs, has been remorseful, taking medications and is making payments. Those are factors obviously as part of the sentencing process. The aggravating fact is the underlying allegation, meaning Mr. Mead being an adult, had validated child abuse on a young child, and may not have another relationship with a child. Hopefully Mr. Mead will get his life together and the victims will be able to get their lives back together.”

Judge Buchanan further addressed Mead, as well as the court shortly before sentencing. Buchanan spoke on matters of integrity, role modeling and the consequential precedent that is set on children when they are victimized, as related in this case.

“I find that alcohol causes you to act completely uncivilized and do stupid things honestly,” Buchanan said to Mead. 

“It seems they’ve got Batterer Intervention, and you need to do some things to regress some anger issues, or some type of anger management. Something sets you off and you don’t get your way, and you act wholly inappropriate. Wholly inappropriate. It’s bad enough that you treat adults in your life poorly and act with physical aggression, but then involve a 9-year-old boy in this. I’m really torn in this case because you have not only repeatedly done things that are wholly inappropriate to the victim. I’m sure deep down you love your children, but now you’ve shown them a wholly inappropriate way to act, and kids learn from role modeling behavior. I hate to say it, everything you did in this case negates anything good you’ve done before that. All the good stuff can add up to a lot of things, but it only takes just little bit of bad, and your stuff is bad. Those kids are traumatized, they’ve been shown the poorest example by adults with how to act, and that’s because of you. It seems to me you’re more sorry for the irritation you caused yourself and by relation to your kids. You’re more troubled and sorry for the fact that you’re in this situation. I know there are many sides to a story, but there’s nothing in here that I can point out and justify in you taking that out on a child, or an adult for that matter. This is child abuse.”

After the sentencing, Judge Buchanan spoke on the terms of the sentencing, again resulting in three years supervised probation.

“There is to be no use or possession of alcohol, you finish all programming as required on probation and parole, you stay employed and submit to drug and alcohol testing. Travel is restricted, you will not be traveling outside of Goshen County without clearing it with your probation agent and it must be work related. I was unsure if I would put you on probation based on the nature of your crime.”

When it came to any possible future violations of his probation, Judge Buchanan had words of caution for Mead.

“Guess what that means? You violate your probation, you will have a prison sentence of no less than eight years, no more than 10. I know what my next step will be, and I think you do too.”

The hearing was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.