Judge: Misdemeanor sex case against Aspen man can proceed
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – A judge denied a request Tuesday to dismiss a misdemeanor sex count against an Aspen man that stems from an alleged encounter with a 15-year-old girl.
Defense attorneys for Landin G. Smith sought to have the case dismissed based on alleged governmental misconduct.
Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely determined there was no misconduct on the part of the district attorney’s office or police officers in the case.
Smith, 44, of Aspen, is accused of a count of unlawful sexual contact. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to 18 months in jail.
The allegation stems from a change in an affidavit that referred to what part of the body Smith is suspected of touching.
Aspen police took Smith into custody on March 25. Smith was initially accused of felony unlawful sexual contact and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, as well as the misdemeanor.
Aspen prosecutors later declined to proceed on the former count. Instead, prosecutors filed a new case alleging four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which carried a potential penalty of 24 years in prison.
Judge James Boyd dismissed those counts Monday.
The incidents allegedly occurred in the vicinity of Rubey Park, Aspen’s downtown bus station, earlier this year.
Smith was being held on $10,000 bond at the Pitkin County jail; the amount could be lowered in the coming weeks. Judge Fernandez-Ely said Tuesday that she would consider a reduction in bond – most likely to $1,000 – provided Smith met certain conditions.
Those conditions would include some form of alcohol treatment, she said.
In other court matters, deputy district attorney Richard Nedlin filed charges in the case against an Aspen yoga instructor. Steven Roger, 48, is now accused of six misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact in connection with alleged incidents at an Aspen business.
The incidents allegedly happened between July 2006 and May 2008. Each of the counts carries a potential penalty of 24 months in jail. He would also have to register as a sex offender if convicted.
Roger is to next appear in court Aug. 4.
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