Sex assault suspects appear in court together in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Sex assault suspects appear in court together in Aspen

The two defendants accused of sexually assaulting a girl earlier this year appeared in Pitkin County District Court on Monday, with the 20-year-old man dressed in a prison uniform and the 17-year-old in a pink button-down shirt with blue dress pants.

Keegan Callahan, 20, and the juvenile were arrested by Pitkin County deputies Oct. 9. Both suspects are in custody on $100,000 bonds and face pending felony charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Details about the events surrounding the accusations are limited because the cases remain sealed.

The juvenile is being charged as an adult, which could carry stiffer penalties if convicted. However, his lawyer, Snowmass Village attorney Arnold Mordkin, told the court he plans to file a motion to transfer the case back to juvenile court.

Prosecutor Don Nottingham had filed a motion to bring the charges against the 17-year-old into district court, but Mordkin told Judge Chris Seldin that he plans to attempt to reverse that.

That matter will be considered by the court after a Nov. 5 hearing regarding bail.

Because the juvenile is now being charged in district court, by law he should be detained in county jail.

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However, there is no suitable place in either Pitkin or Garfield County jails because of his young age. He would have to be segregated from the rest of the population, which therefore becomes solitary confinement.

Judge Seldin agreed that the teenager should remain in a Grand Junction detention facility.

Mordkin waived his client's right to be advised of the charges and for those charges to be read publicly.

Mordkin and Nottingham agreed to keep the details of the case sealed because of the pending transfer of the charges back to juvenile court and the ongoing investigation by the District Attorney's Office.

During hearings for the suspects last week in Pitkin County District Court, Nottingham said he expects the suspects to be arrested in nearby counties for similar sex-crime accusations.

Callahan, who is being held in Pitkin County Jail, appeared before the judge with his Denver-based attorney Abe Hutt. Callahan was in an orange jail outfit, handcuffs and ankle shackles.

Seldin set a preliminary hearing for Callahan on Nov. 14 when it will be determined whether there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Nottingham told Seldin that he expects to call one or two witnesses at the hearing, which is expected to last half a day.

Also at issue during court Monday was whether Callahan could receive his daily dosage of Focalin, which is used to treat his attention deficit disorder, according to Hutt.

The drug also treats psychosis and panic disorders.

It has not been administered to Callahan since he was detained a week ago, Hutt told the judge.

A Pitkin County Jail administrator told the court that Focalin is a scheduled controlled substance that is not allowed in the facility because it is a stimulant that could be highly abused and shared, and therefore creates safety and security issues for other inmates.

Seldin instructed Hutt to ensure that jail administrators give Callahan the drug orally and to check his mouth each day to make sure he swallows it.

In the meantime, Callahan's psychiatrist and the jail will consult with each other on the necessity of the drug during Callahan's incarceration.

csackariason@aspentimes.com

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