Man who stalked girls in Aspen sentenced
A 23-year-old Oklahoma man will spend the next four years in a secure halfway house after admitting to stalking two young girls in downtown Aspen last summer and injuring a young boy while running from police.
Stephen Moore also must register as a sex offender and receive “offense-specific treatment” while in the Garfield County Community Corrections program, District Judge Chris Seldin said.
“I believe you will take (the program) seriously,” Seldin said. “You are a young man and have the opportunity to turn your life around.”
Moore, a former go-go dancer at a gay bar in Oklahoma, was visiting Aspen for a week in August when he repeatedly followed a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old girl throughout the day and took photos up their skirts. After police responded, Moore fled on-foot from officers and ran over a 9-year-old developmentally disabled boy before he was caught.
The boy suffered a laceration to his forehead that required stitches, chipped teeth and a sprained wrist, prosecutor Andrea Bryan said. And while Moore never touched either of the two teenage girls, one of them was so upset and stressed that she broke out in painful hives all over her body, Bryan said.
The father of the 14-year-old girl said in February, when Moore pleaded guilty to stalking, that his daughter was “terrorized” by Moore’s actions.
Moore apologized to his victims and their families, and said he wants to create a stable situation for himself and his family. He previously pleaded guilty to the stalking charge, felony child abuse and misdemeanor harassment.
Bryan asked that Moore be sentenced to 8½ years in prison, saying the sentence needs to be long enough “so he gets the treatment he needs.”
But Moore’s lawyer, Beth Krulewitch, said that kind of time behind bars was far too severe for someone like Moore without a significant criminal history. She also said that a psychosexual evaluation revealed no deviant sexual issues for Moore but instead showed that he suffers from a “hyper-sexuality.”
Krulewitch asked that Moore be sentenced to probation, and that the probation be transferred to Oklahoma, where his mother and two children live.
Seldin said Moore’s crimes were serious.
“Essentially stalking these young girls around the city is creepy and completely unwarranted and will make people fear for their children,” he said.
Still, Seldin said he accepted Moore’s remorse and sympathy for his victims as genuine, though he warned him that if he fails in the community corrections program he will likely end up in prison.
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Trouble seems to plague the former Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park site in Basalt. The latest controversy is over the black fence that was erected three years ago on the site near the heart of downtown.