New Castle man accused of possessing child porn accepts plea deal | AspenTimes.com

New Castle man accused of possessing child porn accepts plea deal

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A district court judge vacated a 20-day jury trial for Frank Alameno on Tuesday after Alameno agreed to a plea deal from prosecutors.

With less than two weeks to go before his trial was set to begin, Alameno, 60, pleaded guilty to felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and sexual exploitation of a child. The remaining 41 counts against him were dropped as part of the deal.

Alameno faces between two and six years in the Colorado Department of Corrections for the drug charge, and an additional four to 12 years in prison for the sexual exploitation charge. If 9th Judicial District Court Judge Denise Lynch finds extreme mitigating circumstances in the case, Alameno could receive as much as 24 years on the exploitation charge alone.

Alameno was charged with 43 felonies including possession of child pornography, sexual assault on a child, and drug possession stemming from two separate cases dating back to March 2006.

He was first arrested in 2006 after family members reported to Rifle police that Alameno possessed child pornography and suspected methamphetamine and cocaine. According to an arrest warrant affidavit, officers found “hundreds, if not thousands” of images including child pornography.

He was charged in that case with 27 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, counts of drug possession, use and consumption of a controlled substance among others.

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In March 2007, Alameno was arrested again after a preliminary hearing in the 2006 case, and was charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child less than 15 years old by a person in a position of trust, both felonies; two counts of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse, both felonies; and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct.

Those charges rose from allegations of two underage girls who told detectives that Alameno had touched them inappropriately while riding ATVs at his property, south of New Castle, in the summer of 2006.

Both the 2006 and 2007 cases were combined in August 2008 and were to be tried together.

In a surprising move, Alameno’s attorney Lawson Wills stepped down as defense counsel in March 2009. At that time, Denver-based attorney Robert Bernhardt took over as Alameno’s counsel.

According to court documents, as part of the plea agreement, Alameno must also undergo a psychosexual evaluation. If found to be a sexually violent predator, he could receive a life sentence. He will also have to undergo sexual offender treatment and supervision, drug and substance abuse treatment, and will have to register as a sex offender when released from prison.

Alameno had no prior felony, adult or juvenile criminal convictions, according to court records.

jgardner@postindependent.com

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