Courts: Aspen assault victim won’t have to testify
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” A judge Monday turned down a request from the defense that would have compelled the victim in the Cooper Street Pier sexual assault to testify in a pre-trial hearing about the matter.
District Court Judge James Boyd said there is “significant non-hearsay evidence in the record” to not call the witness.
The request was made on behalf of Sohan Shrestha, 37, who faces one count of sexual assault in the alleged incident in Aspen. He also stands accused of third-degree assault.
Boyd also ordered a preliminary hearing in the sexual assault case to resume at 9:15 a.m. March 20.
The hearing ground to a halt Friday after it was determined notes form an undisclosed police interview had not been produced in the case.
The issue came up more than two hours into the hearing at Pitkin County District Court. The alleged assault occurred Aug. 20 in the basement of the bar.
Defense attorney Stephen McCrohan called for a continuance while he was questioning former Aspen police officer Jim Crowley about an August interview he conducted with Shrestha.
The interview was one of three Crowley held with the suspect after the alleged assault had been brought to the attention of authorities. While the first two interviews were documented, the third came as a surprise to the defense.
The documents are to be submitted to the court by the end of the week, along with other paperwork requested by the defense. Shrestha is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail at the Pitkin County jail.
In other court-related issues, an amended plea deal is the works for Daniel Rave-Munoz after a previous agreement was withdrawn earlier this month by the district attorney’s office in Aspen.
The proposed agreement would have Rave-Munoz plead guilty to attempted menacing, which is a class-six felony, and a single misdemeanor. In exchange he would be given a deferred sentence of yet-to-be determined length. A plea and sentence hearing is set for 1:45 p.m. March 2.
Rave-Munoz was arrested in July after he was involved in a scuffle with his girlfriend inside a hotel. The district attorney’s office charged him with eight counts ranging from first-degree burglary to false imprisonment.
He later pleaded guilty in November to lesser misdemeanor counts. In exchange, he was to be sentenced to probation Dec. 15.
Rave-Munoz also had to complete domestic violence classes prior to the Dec. 15 court hearing.
But he did not show up for the Dec. 15 sentencing. That led Senior District Court Judge Thomas W. Ossola to double his bail in that case ” to $60,000 from $30,000. One day later, Rave-Munoz turned himself in at the Pitkin County jail.
Boyd later reduced the bond amount to $30,000. Rave-Munoz is being held on $30,000 bond at the jail.
Also, charges were filed in the case against Emanuel Gonzalez-Loujun. He is accused of multiple felonies stemming from the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman at the Centennial apartment complex in Aspen on Jan. 17.
He faces up to life in state prison if convicted on all counts. He is to next appear in court at 10:30 a.m. March 16.
Aspen police arrested Gonzalez-Loujun at 2:30 a.m. Jan. 17 at the complex, shortly after they received a 911 call from a witness about an alleged sexual assault. He is being held on $250,000 bond at the jail.
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