Judge says no to bond leniency for Aspen skirt peeper
A judge refused to lower the $50,000 bond Monday for an Oklahoma man accused of causing a ruckus in downtown Aspen by stalking two teenage girls and injuring a 9-year-old boy when the man fled police by foot.
At a hearing in Pitkin County District Court, public defender Molly Owens asked that Judge Gail Nichols release suspect Stephen Moore, 22, on a personal recognizance bond, contending that he isn’t a flight risk and poses no threat to the community.
Moore, a male stripper at a gay bar in Tulsa, was visiting Aspen when police arrested him Aug. 10 on suspicion of taking cellphone pictures up the skirts of a 14- and 15-year-old girl near the Boogie’s Building on Cooper Avenue. Police say after they handcuffed him in the Hyman Avenue mall, he managed to break away from authorities and knock over a 9-year-old boy as part of a foot chase that finished in the alley behind the Wheeler Opera House, where he was captured.
Owens said Moore had a flight to catch home Monday afternoon, and the only way he could do it was through a PR bond.
“Mr. Moore is really in a difficult position because the people who know him and support him can’t be here and support him,” she said. “He is a father of a small child, he has a partner, and both of those people and his family are in the state of Oklahoma.”
A parent of one of the alleged teen victims, however, told Nichols her daughter has been so traumatized by the incident that the incoming freshman at Aspen High School won’t be participating in fall sports.
“As the mother of one of the victims in this case who turned 14 in July, I have witnessed my daughter become traumatized by the events that occurred a week ago today,” she said. “And we all know and love this community because we feel it is such a safe haven for our children, and we have lived here for several years and that was one of the reasons we call Aspen our home, and now, we no longer feel that way.”
The mother said the “residual effects are going to shape her entire year of high school. She’s not able to try out for volleyball this week, which she has been looking forward to all summer.”
She also said her daughter has lost interest in going into town and “she’s always looking over her shoulder.”
“Her innocence and naivete have been taken away from her, and as a family, we all have to live with that,” the mother said.
Prosecutor Andrea Bryan and the mother also said the request for a PR bond ran counter to Moore’s remarks at a court hearing Aug. 11, when he told the judge he had no plans to bond out “because I’m going to be seeking help for this.” Police also said he confessed to the crimes.
“He himself admitted not once, but several times, that he is a risk to not just the victim but the entire community,” Bryan said.
Noting that a “PR bond is out of question given the light of the evidence,” Nichols said the $50,000 bond would stick because of the “safety of the community is at risk.”
“The standard condition is you don’t leave the state given the severity of all of these charges,” the judge said.
Moore faces charges of stalking, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and assault causing serious bodily injury. A mandatory protection order prohibits him from having any contact with the alleged victims.
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