Elder-abuse case postponed for October in Pitkin County Court

Pitkin County Court was all procedural on Wednesday for the longwinded case of a man accused of taking advantage of an 80-year-old woman.

Nikolay Goranov, 59, was not present in court on Wednesday afternoon, nor was his attorney, Peter Rachesky, who recently filed an appeal, thus moving the case from a County Civil case to District Civil case. A new status hearing was set for Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.

Goranov has been accused of taking advantage of the elderly woman’s children who live out of state. Among the accusations, they accuse him of domestic violence, elder abuse, and taking advantage of her for monetary gain.

Stephanie Kelly Bergner of Carbondale, who is acting as counsel for the mother’s children in their protection-order action against Goranov, argued over the “untimely” manner in which Rachesky filed the appeal, stating that transcripts were not lodged within the required 42 days of the appeals notice date.

She further argued that the appeal record was missing a few exhibits and, therefore, incomplete. She added that based on the record not being complete along with the untimely manner in which it was filed, the appeal was “moot” and should be dismissed. 

Rachesky said that Goranov wished to raise an issue with an inaccuracy in one of the transcripts from a court appearance last March during the testimony of a deputy.

While the deputy was testifying, he quoted Goranov by saying, “This is a small town, you know. You run into people.” While Goranov agrees with having said the first sentence, he disputes having said the second.

Rachesky said he was uncertain if the correction would affect the appeal, but that if somehow it were to do so, he would be readdressing the issue at that time.

Judge Ashley Andrews said the purpose of Wednesday’s hearing was to determine what else needed to be done in order to make the record complete, so the case can proceed to District court.

On Jan. 5, an extension was granted for a temporary protection order, further holding up the elderly woman’s request to make the protection order permanent, along with stalling the complaint accusing Goranov of seizing control of the woman’s finances through deception and manipulation. 

He is also accused of repeatedly violating the temporary restraining order.

He was reportedly in a romantic relationship with the elderly woman while living together in her Aspen house. He had become her caretaker reportedly “by force.” He is further accused of inflicting emotional abuse and withholding medical prescriptions from her.

According to the elderly woman’s children, Goranov was a negative force in their mother’s life since 2021 when he took control of her financial accounts, passwords, would only allow her to access her accounts in his presence, and padlocked one her home’s bedrooms.

As of Dec. 27, the 80-year-old woman’s son and daughter were court-appointed as “emergency co-guardians” in order to have control over their mother’s living and travel decisions, according to court papers.