Local sexual assault under investigation | AspenTimes.com

Local sexual assault under investigation

Tim Mutrie

Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the alleged sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman that occurred the night of Aug. 19, just off River Road near the Elam gravel pit in Pitkin County.

“We are investigating this case and attempting to locate a suspect,” said Juvenile Investigator Bruce Benjamin. Though no arrests have been made in connection with the incident, Benjamin said the investigation is going “well.”

Benjamin would not provide further details about the man involved in the incident.

The woman, who was visiting the area from out of state, was trying to get a ride to Aspen the night of Aug. 19, Benjamin said, when she met the suspect at a midvalley gas station. He agreed to give her a ride to Aspen.

“They were driving upvalley, when he took a turn off Highway 82 onto River Road, and then took another turn off that road into a secluded area, in the vicinity of the Elam gravel pit,” Benjamin said.

“There he attempted to sexually assault her,” Benjamin continued. “She attempted to resist the assault and was able to run a short distance away to flag down a vehicle that was in the area. At that point, when she was telling the two males in the vehicle that she had flagged down about the assault, the suspect drove away quickly.”

The sheriff’s office received a call about the incident at 9:30 p.m., he said.

Investigators are treating the incident as a sexual assault, he said, and not an attempted sexual assault. “[The victim] reported that some sexual contact was made.”

No further incidents involving a suspect matching the man’s description have been reported to authorities, Benjamin said.

“Although the Roaring Fork Valley is a very safe place to live,” he added, “one still has to exercise a lot of caution when getting rides or hitchhiking with unknown people.”

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