Man pleads guilty to assault
A midvalley man pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child on Monday in Pitkin County’s 9th Judicial District Court.
The 39-year-old man, whose name The Aspen Times has elected to withhold in order to protect the identity of the victim, faces two to eight years in the prison for the Class 4 felony, according to state sentencing guidelines.
The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge J.E. DeVilbiss on the afternoon of Sept. 20.
As part of Monday’s plea agreement, one count of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse, which had been filed against the defendant initially, was dismissed. In accordance with state laws regarding sexual assault cases, the defendant must submit to HIV blood test prior to sentencing.
Presently, the defendant is being held in the Pitkin County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
According to an arrest warrant filed Oct. 29, 1998 by Deputy Bruce Benjamin of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, the defendant touched the girl, then 12 years old, inappropriately. The defendant is the common-law husband of the girl’s mother.
Authorities first learned of the ongoing sexual abuse when the victim contracted a bladder infection, and medical staffers at the Basalt MidValley Medical Clinic who treated her, discovered evidence of sexual intercourse.
The defendant’s sexual abuse of the girl first began when she was 10 years old, according to the warrant. When authorities asked the victim if the abuse “happened a lot or a little,” the girl replied, “so so,” according to the warrant. The sexual abuse did involve some instances of sexual intercourse, the warrant said.
Although a warrant was issued for the defendant’s arrest in late October 1998, the defendant was not arrested until May 25, 1999, because he fled the state. Since his late-May arrest, the defendant has been in custody at the County Jail.
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