ARC worker charged with sexual assault
An employee of the Aspen Recreation Center was arrested Tuesday and charged with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.Shaun Van Dyke, 24, of Snowmass Village, faces a felony charge for the alleged assault, according to Aspen police. He remained in custody at the Pitkin County Jail on a $5,000 bond late yesterday afternoon. According to documents filed in district court yesterday, the girl’s mother contacted Aspen police earlier this month because she feared her daughter was “having an affair” with Van Dyke, whom she’d met at the ARC.The mother said she believed the relationship began last spring.In an interview Monday with Detective Jim Crowley, the girl said she had intercourse with Van Dyke on one occasion three months ago, according to a court affidavit signed by Crowley. The incident took place in Aspen, according to the affidavit, but police said yesterday there is no evidence that any crime occurred at the ARC.The girl also said she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Denver with Van Dyke because she believed she was pregnant, according to the affidavit. The girl said she found out at the clinic she was not pregnant. She also said Van Dyke would not have been the father, though he accompanied her to Denver.Police met with Van Dyke on Monday night at the ARC. In the affidavit, Crowley said, “I told Van Dyke that I spoke with everyone involved in this case and that I know that he had sex with [the girl] and he responded by saying, ‘I’m going to prison.'”Van Dyke, hired last March as a part-time, temporary employee at the ARC, has been placed on leave without pay pending the resolution of the criminal proceedings, according to Steve Barwick, city manager.”This really is a tragic and extremely disappointing situation,” he said.Van Dyke is an ice facilities/rink operator at the ARC, handling such duties as sharpening skates, running the Zamboni and teaching skating lessons, Barwick said.The city conducts a criminal background check on all employees who have contact with children, he said. There was no evidence that Van Dyke, who had served in the military, had any prior arrests, Barwick said.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is email@example.com
The Aspen City Council directed staff to move forward with the Burlingame early childhood education center, but decided it needs more information on the affordable housing units that are part of the schematic design at a work session Monday.