Grand jury indicts Aspen man
September 22, 2009
ASPEN – An Aspen man incarcerated in the Pitkin County Jail has been indicted by a grand jury on sexual assault charges, according to testimony Monday in district court.
Jacob Frutin, 22, had been scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing Friday on the same charges, but a grand jury recently returned an indictment that was revealed in court Monday. Because of the grand jury indictment, the preliminary hearing, which was to be held to determine if there was probable cause to bind the suspect over for trial, was canceled.
The grand jury is apparently the same one that has convened to hear evidence regarding the November carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of a Denver family of four. Last month, the same grand jury indicted a local homeless man, Landin Smith, on four felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – after a judge ruled in June there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute him on the same charges.
Public defender Stephen McCrohan is representing both Frutin and Smith. He indicated in court Monday that he plans to challenge both grand jury indictments.
“As you know, grand jury indictments in [the 9th Judicial District] are quite rare,” noted District Judge James Boyd, who kept the bond for Frutin at $30,000. McCrohan had asked for it to be lowered to $5,000.
Frutin has been incarcerated since March 11. He is accused of sexual assault of a victim under the age of 15 and the transfer or dispensing of marijuana to a person under 15. He also is accused of a second sexual assault count and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance (psilocybin mushrooms).
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The alleged incidents took place in November 2007. The victim was younger than 15 years old at the time, according to court records.
In other court news:
• Boyd ruled that there is probable cause to try Emanuel Gonzales-Loujun, 22, of Carbondale for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and attempted distribution of a controlled substance.
The ruling came after the judge found, after listening to a preliminary hearing in July, that there was probable cause to bind Gonzales-Loujun over for trial in the alleged sexual assault and kidnapping of a woman outside of Aspen’s Centennial Apartments on Jan. 17.
Authorities also said Gonzales-Loujun was in possession of cocaine at the time of the arrest, but the charges were incorrectly worded, prompting Boyd to dismiss two charges
Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin subsequently recrafted the charges to reflect the crimes he believed were committed – possession of a schedule-two substance (cocaine), not schedule four as originally was called for; and attempted distribution of a controlled substance, not distribution of a controlled substance as initially described.
• A former employee of Aspen/Pitkin County Airport pleaded guilty to felony theft of $1,000 to $20,000.
Amber Fisk is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 2. She allegedly used a county credit card to rack up about $3,900 in personal charges while she was employed in the airport’s administrative office, according to court documents.
“I’m ready to move on and make restitution,” Fisk told the judge.