Plea deal in Aspen sexual assault on hold
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Emanuel Gonzalez-Loujun, the man accused of sexually assaulting a woman three times outside of Aspen’s Centennial Apartments complex last year, backed out of a plea agreement Monday that would have nullified next month’s trial.
Attorneys were poised to strike the plea deal until Gonzalez-Loujun, 22, told his public defender he was not ready to accept the offer.
“We did believe we have a resolution,” the suspect’s public defender, Stephen McCrohan, told Judge James Boyd during a brief session in Pitkin County Court. “I don’t know if he’s changed his mind but he has a lot more questions.”
The alleged victim attended Monday’s court session, along with several court advocates. While the details of the plea agreement remain confidential, the alleged victim has been informed of them, McCrohan told Boyd.
He also said in court that he had “spent a lot of time” on the phone Monday with Gonzalez-Loujun.
“I need to spend a little more time to see whether he’s rejecting the plea offer and wants to go to trial,” McCrohan said.
Gonzalez-Loujun, of Carbondale, is scheduled to stand a second jury trial starting June 14.
In an April trial, a Pitkin County jury hung by voting 9-3 to acquit him of sexual assault and kidnapping charges, stemming from an incident shortly before 2 a.m. Jan. 17, 2009.
That’s when Gonzalez-Loujun allegedly followed a woman home from a bus stop at the Centennial complex and dragged her to various locations, including a snowbank outside her apartment, where he is accused of sexually assaulting her. At the trial, the victim testified that he said he would kill himself with a gun if she didn’t comply with his demands, and that she was afraid for her own life.
Both sides are scheduled to return to court at 5:15 p.m. today for another arraignment hearing on the plea agreement.
“Time is running out,” Prosecutor Arnold Mordkin said in court, adding that he needs to notify his witnesses about whether a trial will be held.
“I anticipated we had an apparent plea, and I suspect Mr. McCrohan had, too.”
Gonzalez-Loujun has yet to be sentenced for the drug and resisting arrest convictions from the April trial. He also has yet to enter a plea for allegedly violating probation after he received a deferred sentence in 2008 for felony theft.
Mother Nature — and some unfortunate training injuries — completely changed the vibe around the women’s halfpipe skiing final on Saturday at X Games Aspen.