Brainard pleads guilty to assault

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Many gathered out front of the Mesa County Court House today in anticipation of a case that's stirred up controversy in the last month.

Grand Junction City Council member Rick Brainard entered a guilty plea today and was given a deferred sentence.

Brainard pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in the third degree.

Sentencing is deferred for 18 months, and if Brainard complies with the terms of the agreement, his case could be dismissed at that point.

Brainard must serve 40 hours of community service and attend a domestic violence evaluation and any other required counseling.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said Brainard got the same punishment another other person not in office would have received.

"Bottom line it is our job is to try to seek justice and try to do the right thing, and this is an appropriate plea with this level of domestic violence," said Hautzinger. "What we are trying to do is nip it in the bud to get the offender some counseling so hopefully it doesn't happen again."

Brainard's ex-girlfriend spoke in court asking for the restraining order against him to be lifted, and the judge agreed.

The judge said if Brainard does complete the terms, his case will most likely be dismissed, and he will have the option to have case files sealed.

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