Hearing set for teacher accused of assault | AspenTimes.com

Hearing set for teacher accused of assault

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS Darcie Esson, an Elizabeth High School teacher accused of sleeping with a 17-year-old football player in Glenwood Springs during an away game, was recently accused of trying to contact the alleged victim by phone.Esson, 33, appeared in court Friday. She faces a charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. Her attorney, Pamela Robillard Mackey, requested a preliminary hearing that is now set for May 17. Mackey was one of the attorneys who represented Kobe Bryant in 2003.Mackey also had filed a motion for Esson’s $25,000 bond to be reduced to $10,000 and requested permission to substitute a surety bond for cash.District Attorney Martin Beeson appeared at the hearing with Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch. Their office had filed a motion for fingerprinting and a mandatory protection order. Mackey didn’t object to either.Judge Denise Lynch said she would deny the motion to reduce bond based upon the serious nature of the offense and concern about the allegations that Esson had tried to call the alleged victim.According to the prosecution’s response to Mackey’s motion for bond reduction, the alleged victim’s mother reported that she discovered Esson’s phone number on her son’s cell phone. The response also states that there is no real need for bond reduction because the large amount of cash was posted by Esson’s father the next day after her Dec. 18, 2006 arrest. Her father “was able to obtain this large amount of cash in a very short time and get it posted with relative ease,” the response states. “This, in turn, demonstrates that the amount of bail fixed by the court is not oppressive.”At least one man thinks Esson should not be put behind bars.”I just hope you will be merciful to her,” a Grand Junction man wrote in an unsolicited letter to the court. “I don’t think she belongs in jail.”The man wrote that he had been following the case and that he was a former conductor for the Rio Grande for 29 years, east out of Grand Junction. In the letter, which is included in Esson’s court file and addressed only to “Your Honor,” he writes that he often hoped something like that would have happened to him when he was in high school.

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