POCATELLO — A judge sentenced a sex offender named Pirate Tuesday for using cigarettes to burn a woman with disabilities.
Pirate, who legally changed his name from Daniel Selovich, will not have to serve any more jail time as he spent a year in the Bannock County Jail before his release in December. Magistrate Judge Scott Axline gave Pirate credit for time served, but he will have to pay $515 in fees and fines.
Tuesday’s sentencing took place over Zoom with Pirate appearing over video from an unknown location.
Pirate initially faced four felony counts of aggravated battery and a persistent violator enhancement aimed to keep him in custody longer if convicted. But as part of a plea agreement with Bannock County prosecutors, the charges were reduced to misdemeanors. Last year, Selovich pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of battery.
During Tuesday’s sentencing defense attorney Stratton Paul Laggis and Pirate discussed how prosecutors would have had issues meeting the burden of proof at trial, which led to the plea agreement.
“Like the prosecutor said and the lawyer said, the burden of proof would have been a situation at trial,” Pirate said before receiving his sentence. “I was hoping for trial … I was more than ready for trial because I felt I had the burden of proof. I felt I had justice on my side.”
In his statement Pirate explained with COVID-19 pushing his trial date again and again he felt he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor to get the case behind him and move on with his life.
“My only regret is I didn’t go no contendo (sic) or whatever,” Pirate said.
The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office learned of Pirate on Nov. 9, 2020, when a concerned family member asked for a welfare check on a Downey woman assaulted by Pirate. The woman with disabilities met him on a dating app and agreed to let him stay the night with her.
The victim told investigators during the night, Pirate used a cigarette to leave multiple burn marks on her body and a large scratch on her back. Pirate also reportedly put his foot into the victim’s mouth, according to court documents.
“Daniel at the time and I believe still now, he is representing to me that these injuries had not taken place or occurred from him,” Laggis said Tuesday. “However, because the nature of the proposed plea agreement and the result of having the case finished with credit for time served and presumable going on his way, he took advantage of that offer in order to have that case finished up and finalized.”
Pirate’s history of abusing women
During the local sheriff’s investigation, the victim told deputies she believed Pirate had recently been in Salt Lake City. She said while he was visiting her, Pirate looked himself up online to see if any warrants were out for his arrest in Utah. As a result of this conversation, deputies called the Salt Lake City Police Department and learned that on Nov. 6, 2020, Pirate had assaulted a woman multiple times at a motel.
A Salt Lake Police report obtained by EastIdahoNews.com shows Pirate allegedly attacked an ex-girlfriend at the motel after becoming upset over their recent breakup. According to the victim in Salt Lake, Pirate allegedly head-butted her several times, kicked her in the shins, and knelt on her abdomen. The alleged attack sent the victim to the hospital, but the woman did not want to press charges.
The woman in Idaho also initially said she did not want to press charges.
Deputies looked further into Pirate’s history and discovered he is a registered sex offender. By that time, the woman in Downey called and said she wanted to press charges.
When the victim opened up to detectives, she said Pirate arrived at her home on Nov. 7 and she agreed to let him stay for a few days. When she and Pirate went into her bedroom, he bit her lip and neck so hard it made her cry.
“Pirate held her (mouth open) so that he could ash his cigarette into her mouth,” according to the probable cause. “(The victim) said that he took pictures as she held the ash in her mouth.”
“The two parties, in this case, (Pirate) and the victim now at this point had a very strange relationship,” Laggis said. “They met on an online dating website and my understanding primarily from the preliminary hearing that was this victim … told Daniel that he was her master and he could do what he wants.”
These attacks were far from the first time Pirate has been accused of assaulting women.
In 2010, authorities arrested him for a 2004 rape of a Redding, California, woman, KRCR TV reported. Pirate pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to four years in prison.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that in 2004, Pirate broke into the Las Vegas motel room of a mentally and physically disabled woman. The victim said that Pirate beat her with a belt as he sexually assaulted her. Pirate was not charged in the case until his DNA came back as a match 12 years later.
He pleaded guilty to sexually motivated coercion and a judge ordered him to spend up to five years in prison in 2018. For this crime, Pirate was required to register as a sex offender. It’s not clear how long he was incarcerated.
Before his arrest in Las Vegas, Pirate allegedly committed crimes in Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News reported in 2015, Pirate allegedly held a woman captive for five weeks in a remote Alaskan cabin and sexually assaulted her.
“The charges described harrowing torture and assault,” according to the Anchorage Daily News. “During the next five weeks, (the victim) was sexually assaulted daily, beaten, kicked, bitten, cut with a knife and duct-taped to Selovich at night, according to prosecutors. Authorities said Selovich used a rope to tether her neck to a ceiling rafter, keeping her captive during the day. He threatened to ‘cut her face off,’ according to the charges.”
The victim managed to call for help and was rescued by helicopter. Before Pirate could go to trial, the woman died and the case was dismissed in 2016. It was the DNA in this case that connected Pirate to the Las Vegas sexual assault.
As in the Las Vegas cases, Alaskan authorities declined to comment on the matter.
After serving his sentence in Nevada, sightings of Pirate popped up in multiple places, including Alaska, Nevada, Missouri, California and now Idaho.
Pirate explained at his sentencing he is currently homeless, unemployed and living on disability. He asked for arrangements for a payment plan on his fees and fines.
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