Basalt man asks for jail time and gets it
December 30, 2013
EAGLE — A Basalt man convicted of indecent exposure asked for jail instead of probation, and a judge granted his wish Tuesday.
Joaquin Rangel was sentenced to 18 months in the Eagle County jail after he exposed himself to at least five women during two separate incidents within a seven-day period in Basalt's Old Pond Park. Prosecutors say Rangel was ordered by police not to return to the park after the first incident.
The five female witnesses say Rangel was rubbing the front of his pants, and that he pulled out his genitals and was rubbing them.
During his sentencing Rangel claimed he was urinating in the park. According to the incident report, Rangel had drunk six 24-ounce beers, some whiskey and a half gallon of bourbon.
His blood alcohol level was .204, more than twice the legal limit, yet he denied to investigators and the judge that he has a problem with alcohol.
Rangel told Eagle County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan that a male witness agreed he was urinating. The five female witnesses said, no, he was masturbating.
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During Tuesday's sentencing Rangel claimed to Sullivan that the person who saw him was a drug addict. During his presentence investigation he denied he was doing anything like that, prosecutors said.
Rangel had said he wanted to return to the Roaring Fork Valley. The victims said they wanted him in jail.
Rangel told his lawyers he didn't want probation and would rather go to jail. He has already been in jail five months since his arrest.
During Tuesday's sentencing Rangel apologized to the court, saying he is a good person.
"I would like to demonstrate that there are no problems, no issues in my mind. I have never used drugs, and I never have had any problems," Rangel said.
Sullivan said that's not entirely accurate, and she read a partial list of Rangel's criminal history in Colorado: a DUI in 2008, indecent exposure in 2008, public consumption of alcohol in 2008, using a false identification in 2011, a false reporting charge in Adams County in 2012 and numerous citations for failure to appear in court on these and other charges.
When she passed sentence, Sullivan said community safety is her top priority in any case.
"It is clear you are not amenable to treatment," Sullivan said in handing down the sentence, adding that the best way to ensure community safety is to keep Rangel in jail.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.