Hearing set for Aspen man accused of sexual contact with minor | AspenTimes.com

Hearing set for Aspen man accused of sexual contact with minor

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A preliminary hearing was set Wednesday in the case against an Aspen man suspected having unlawful sexual contact with a youth and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Landin G. Smith, 44, faces life in prison if convicted of the felony offenses. He is also charged with misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact.

Smith is to next appear in Pitkin County District Court on May 4 at 3 p.m. Chief Judge James Boyd ordered the preliminary hearing date at the end of an afternoon proceeding.

The proceeding largely focused on bond-related issues and whether there was probable cause to arrest Smith, who was being held at the Pitkin County jail Wednesday.

Aspen police took Smith into custody on March 25 shortly after Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely signed an arrest warrant. Public defender Stephen McCrohan suggested Wednesday that the warrant was improperly issued as the probable cause was in dispute.

McCrohan said he did not believe the elements of the alleged crime were met. He also said there was no real basis to hold his client. McCrohan made his remarks via telephone. Smith was present for the proceeding.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin argued the warrant was valid because Fernandez-Ely found there was probable cause, or a reasonable belief that a crime had been committed.

Mordkin was referring to the misdemeanor allegation. The preliminary hearing will be held to determine if Smith is bound over for trial on the felony counts. The allegations stem from events that took place last month at Rubey Park in Aspen, court documents show.

Smith allegedly touched the victim, 15, “on her inner upper legs over her clothes using both hands.” He is also alleged to have told the victim he loved her, wanted to marry her and have sex, court documents show.

McCrohan also sought to have Smith’s bond lowered from $20,000.

“We are requesting a [personal recognizance] bond,” he said.

Boyd turned down the request for a personal recognizance bond. But he did reduce the amount to $10,000.


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