Men sent to prison for molestation convictions

Two men — Lariet Charles, 42, of Bloomfield, and Justin Pelt, 24, of Waterflow — were sentenced earlier this month for child sex crime offenses in two separate cases

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON — Two men have been sentenced to prison for child sex offense convictions.

Lariet Charles was charged in March 2014 with 14 child sex offenses on allegations he secretly video recorded two teenage girls who showered at his San Juan County home, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. He also admitted to detectives he inappropriately touched the girls' while they were asleep, and detectives discovered child pornography on his computer, the affidavit states.

Lariet Charles

Charles, 42, of Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to five offenses in March, including manufacturing child pornography. He was sentenced Aug. 2 to 15 years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Justin Pelt was charged in June 2015 with criminal sexual penetration of a child, a second-degree felony, three counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor, a fourth-degree felony, and false imprisonment on allegations he sexually abused a 16-year-old relative, according to Daily Times archives.

Pelt, 24, of Waterflow, pleaded guilty June 20 to one count of criminal sexual penetration of a child in a plea agreement with prosecutors. Also on Aug. 2, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Justin Pelt

Pelt was previously convicted of aggravated battery in April 2012 and sentenced to probation.

Both cases were investigated by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office said in a press release today the convictions would ensure the safety of the community's children.

"Both Judge (Karen) Townsend and Judge (John) Dean have also shown their commitment to our children's safety by prescribing punishments to these two sexual predators which may have otherwise been walking the streets of our community," the release states.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.