Plea deal reached in Aspen sexual assault case
ASPEN – An Aspen man indicted on sexual assault charges by a grand jury last year copped a plea Friday that will send him to the Department of Corrections for five years.
As part of an agreement with the District Attorney’s Office, Jacob Frutin pleaded guilty to transfer of marijuana to a person under 15, a class-four felony; and attempted sexual assault of a victim incapable of consenting, a class-five felony. In exchange, prosecutors dropped charges of sexual assault of a victim under the age of 15 and unlawful distribution of psilocybin mushrooms.
Frutin said little during the arraignment hearing, giving short answers to Judge James Boyd when asked how he would plead.
“Guilty, your honor,” he said to the marijuana charge.
The agreement stipulates that Frutin, 23, will serve five years in state prison, which will be followed by three years of parole.
Both prosecutor Arnold Mordkin and Stephen McCrohan were poised to have Frutin sentenced during yesterday’s hearing, but Judge Boyd put that off on the grounds that Frutin still needs to undergo a sexually violent predator assessment and psycho-sexual evaluation.
Boyd said he also would need a pre-sentence investigation report on Frutin before he is sentenced. Frutin’s next court appearance is scheduled Aug. 2, during which time a probation officer will update the judge on the status of Frutin’s evaluations.
Frutin has been in the custody of the Pitkin County jail since he was arrested March 11, 2009. The alleged incidents took place in November 2007. The victim was younger than 15 years old at the time.
“By reason of drugs administered the victim was incapable to consent to what was going on,” Mordkin told Judge Boyd, adding that Frutin “does not have an extensive record.”
While reading the details of the charges, Boyd noted that “sexual intrusion or penetration” occurred.
Mordkin said the victim and her parents are satisfied with the disposition.
Frutin was indicted by a Pitkin County grand jury in September, the same week he was scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing on the same charges. But because of the grand jury indictment, the preliminary hearing, which was to be held to determine if there was probable cause to bind Frutin over for trial, was canceled.
In November, McCrohan filed a motion challenging the indictment, arguing he had no way of knowing whether the grand jury was tainted or if members were selected prejudicially because it’s a secret proceeding.
But earlier this month, Boyd ruled there was probable cause for a grand jury to indict Frutin, setting the stage for the plea agreement.
The grand jury is apparently the same one that has convened to hear evidence regarding the November carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of a Denver family of four. The grand jury’s session is scheduled to expire at the end of this month. It has yet to render a decision in the carbon monoxide case.
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