Aspen rape case charges detail violence
The two young men charged last week with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old high school student this summer repeatedly choked and raped her, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.
Keegan Callahan, 20, and a 17-year-old juvenile each face 13 separate felony charges in the case, including six counts of the highest level sex assault allowed under Colorado law. The charges — which were not previously available because the case was under seal — detail a level of violence not previously reported in the case.
Court documents detailing the charges against the two were unsealed Wednesday by a District Court judge after the District Attorney’s Office requested the action. All other documents in the case remain sealed, including arrest warrant affidavits that would provide details of the alleged assaults on the girl.
Each defendant is facing a total of nine counts of sexual assault, one count of unlawful sexual contact and three counts of second-degree assault.
The six counts of the highest level sexual-assault charge under Colorado law state that the two young men “inflicted sexual intrusion or sexual penetration … calculated to cause submission against the victim’s will,” the court documents state. Those charges are applicable in the case because the two suspects allegedly aided and abetted each other in the assault, according to the charging documents and Colorado statutes.
Each of those six counts carries a sentence of 16 to 48 years to life in prison if they are convicted.
The three counts of third-degree felony sexual assault filed against them allege the two suspects “caused submission of the victim through the actual application of physical force or physical violence,” the documents state.
Finally, the three counts of second-degree assault filed against each defendant allege the two men “applied sufficient pressure to impede or restrict the breathing or circulation of the blood (of the victim) by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth and thereby caused bodily injury,” according to the court documents.
The victim in the case identified herself publicly in a video posted to YouTube two weeks ago.
Callahan remains in custody at the Pitkin County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bond. The 17-year-old — who has been charged as an adult, though his lawyer has filed a motion to transfer his case back to juvenile court — remains incarcerated at a juvenile detention facility in Grand Junction in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bond.
Prosecutor Don Nottingham has said there are “multiple investigations” into the two young men in Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties. So far, they have only been charged in the one case.
A task force working on the cases includes officers from the FBI, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Aspen Police Department, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office.