Wayne Sperling accepted a plea agreement in Denver District Court and pleaded guilty to one felony count of child abuse naming all four boys. The original six charges were dropped.
As part of the agreement, prosecutors agreed not to ask for a sentence of more than seven years in prison, but the judge still has discretion to sentence him to more time.
|Sperling and lawyer|
Sperling, who remains free on bail, faces sentencing Dec. 30.
The boys' mother, 36-year-old Lorinda Bailey, previously pleaded guilty to reckless child abuse and was sentenced last week to 90 days in the Denver jail and five years of probation.
Bailey and Sperling were arrested in October 2013 after police removed the four malnourished boys from the squalid apartment.
The boys — ages 2, 4, 5 and 6 at the time — were not potty-trained, according to an arrest affidavit.
District Court Judge Eric Elliff described the conditions in which the boys were raised as horrific.
The boys are together and improving, prosecutors said.
During Bailey's sentencing hearing on Nov. 7, her attorney, Chelsea Reiss, painted her client as a woman who was sexually and physically assaulted as a child by family members and abused by Sperling, the father of her sons.
|Sperling and Bailey|
On Thursday, Sperling dangled his pipe and cap in his hands as he waited for his attorney to arrive.
After each of the judge's questions, Sperling answered with a quick, quiet response.
He pleaded not guilty in January and was sent to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo for a competency exam. He was found competent to stand trial.
Denver Detective Teresa Gessler testified at Bailey's hearing last week that after the boys were taken away from Bailey and Sperling, they were given a sandwich, an apple and a carton of milk. The boys, who communicated through grunts and physical contact, patted the sandwiches and rolled the apples on the floor like toys.
Jordan Steffen: 303-954-1794, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/jsteffendp
Being a victim of child sex abuse and possibly incest is not an excuse for such extraordinary neglect. Lorinda Bailey deserves her 90 days in jail, and I would hope she would never be allowed to have her children back, or any more children.
Having said that, this story does point out how victims of child sex abuse, especially from family members find it difficult, if not impossible to form healthy relationships. That's why she ended up with a lazy brute of an old man with no apparent concerns for anyone but himself.