Guilty plea in sex case
Aspen Times Staff Writer
An Aspen man faces eight years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to attempted sexual assault, second-degree assault and escaping from the Pitkin County Jail.
Robert Feliciano, 18, was charged with raping and assaulting a 16-year-old Aspen girl under the Marolt pedestrian bridge in February when he escaped last month with a fellow inmate.
Both inmates were arrested in Boulder two days after the escape.
Feliciano also pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree motor vehicle theft. All of the crimes are felonies. Attorneys for both sides agreed to a sentence of eight years in the Department of Corrections for the assault charges. For the escape and motor vehicle theft charges, he could get two to six years. The maximum sentences would total 14 years but they would be served concurrently.
Feliciano, who responded to Judge James Boyd’s questions about his pleas with one-word answers, will be sentenced Aug. 18.
He was originally facing a possible life sentence for sexual assault.
“The risks were too great for him to go to trial,” said public defender James Conway. “With current sentences for sex offenses, it was too risky for Rob to risk everything.”
Wills said given Feliciano’s young age, he agreed that an eight-year sentence was adequate.
“We and the victim felt like a life sentence was not an appropriate outcome, so that’s where we came to this agreement of 10 to 14 years,” Wills said. “I think this is a fair result given what’s happened.”
Conway said Feliciano might serve half of his sentence before being granted parole. Wills didn’t paint such a rosy picture.
“He’ll be going to jail as the worst category of offender – sex assault and escape,” he said. “It won’t draw the best assignment in the Department of Corrections, and it won’t be looked on favorably by the parole board. He’ll be categorized as a risk. He’ll probably serve a minimum of 70 to 75 percent of his sentence.”
[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
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