Plea offer extended in Aspen assault case |

Plea offer extended in Aspen assault case

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A plea deal is in the works for a man suspected of alleged sexual assault at the former Cooper Street Pier bar in Aspen, authorities said Monday.

The proposal calls for Sohan Shrestha, 37, of Aspen, to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of unlawful sexual contact. The offer came to light during an afternoon hearing in Pitkin County District Court at which Shrestha was present.

Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said the offer would require Shrestha to register as a sex offender. He was tightlipped about other aspects of the offer.

Shrestha has been in the Pitkin County jail since he was arrested Aug. 26 for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at Cooper Street Pier. The bar and restaurant was shuttered late last year, and has since reopened under a different name and management.

Shrestha had managed the business.

He originally faced one felony count of sexual assault and a misdemeanor assault count. The felony count carried a penalty of four years to life in prison upon conviction. The felony count will likely be dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Shrestha is being held on $25,000 bond. His to next court appearance is April 20.

The case against Shrestha took an unexpected twist last month when correspondence surfaced that seemed to cast some doubt on the victim’s credibility.

Public defender Stephen McCrohan said at a Feb. 2 hearing that the victim had lied to authorities in another matter.

McCrohan was referencing an e-mail given to him by Aspen prosecutors through the discovery process. The e-mail, which allegedly was from the victim, stated she “fabricated details of a domestic dispute with her husband.” The victim said she was upset with her husband and essentially wanted to get back at him, which is why she lied to authorities about the fight. She also recanted the allegations against her husband.

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