Police arrest city worker on assault charge
August 18, 2007
ASPEN ” An Aspen city employee was arrested last week for allegedly sexually assaulting a child over a five-year period.
Ramon Perez, 58, was arrested Aug. 11 for sexual assault on a child and sexual assault by a person of trust. Perez, who lives in Basalt, was released from the Eagle County Detention Facility the same day he was arrested on a $15,000 bond.
Perez, who works as a maintenance operator in the city’s parks department, is still working for the city of Aspen. City department heads evaluated Perez’s charges and what implications they would have on his job performance and the safety of the public. The decision was partly based on the district attorney office’s evaluation of whether Perez posed a risk, which it was determined he does not.
“He is constantly in a work group, and we are making sure his assignments are not around children,” said Rebecca Doane, City Hall’s human resource director, adding if an employee’s arrest required that he or she be taken off the job, it would be on paid administrative leave.
Perez allegedly fondled the victim from the time she was in kindergarten until she was 13 years old, according to an incident report filed by Eagle County Sheriff Deputy James Jessel.
The alleged assault first occurred in September 1997 when the victim was 7 or 8 years old, according to an interview she had with Lisa Griggs, who works in the Pitkin County Social Services and is the person who contacted the sheriff’s office about the case.
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The incident involved Perez allegedly touching the girl under her dress and underwear while she was watching TV, according to the report.
The second incident occurred in 2000 when the girl was about 10 years old and Perez allegedly ran his hands down the front of her chest to her waistline underneath her shirt. The third time was two years later, when the victim was 13 years old, and Perez allegedly entered her bed-room at night and touched her while she was sleeping, according to the report.
Perez was interviewed by authorities Aug. 11 through a Spanish-speaking interpreter. He first denied the incidents had happened but when questioned again, he admitted that he intentionally ran his hands down the girl’s shirt in the summer of 2000, according to the report. He also told investigators that he doesn’t remember entering the girl’s bedroom while she slept but it might have happened.
When authorities asked Perez if he understood what he admitted to, he replied in the affirmative. He also admitted that he felt a desire for the girl.
Apparently it was not the first time Perez wanted a young girl.
“When asked if Ramon had ever acted on a desire to touch other girls, he said no,” the incident report reads. “Ramon then admitted to acting on these desires before he was married in Mexico. Ramon said that about 34 years ago he touched a girl all over her body and she was about 14 years old at the time.”
Perez couldn’t be reached for comment. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Doane said Perez has worked for the city of Aspen for about eight years and is one of the parks department’s best employees.