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Rizzuto accused of sex with minor

John Colson

Local crime-spree suspect Anthony Rizzuto was accused Monday of having sex with a minor, adding to the mounting pile of charges against him in 9th Judicial District Court.

While Rizzuto, 20, sat in jail Monday morning awaiting court proceedings involving four felony-level cases against him, District Judge J.E. DeVilbiss signed an arrest warrant for a fifth case – sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl.

Rizzuto remains in jail in lieu of $325,000 bond.

According to an arrest warrant filed by Pitkin County Deputy Sheriff Bruce Benjamin, a woman told police on July 31 that her daughter “had engaged in sex with a 20-year-old male.” The daughter’s name was not released because she is a minor.

According to the mother, her daughter was staying with a friend that weekend, and failed to call in when she was supposed to on the evening of July 28. The mother said the girl was unaccounted for through July 30, when she got home at around 6 p.m.

The next day, the mother added, the daughter went into her room with a portable telephone. After the mother overheard some remarks in the phone conversation, she picked up an extension and overheard the daughter and a friend talking about Rizzuto.

“I can’t believe you [slept with] Anthony,” the friend is alleged to have said. The daughter reportedly replied, “Yeah, I can’t believe it either, he’s so hot.”

The affidavit also states that the daughter confided to a counselor on Aug. 1 about the sexual affair. She also allegedly admitted it to her mother later that day, after being confronted about it. The girl reportedly said she and Rizzuto had sex in his bedroom at his mother’s house in the W/J Ranch neighborhood.

The daughter also reportedly told her mother at some point in the past that “Rizzuto knows people, and if [the girl] ever turned on him, he would find a way to hurt [the girl] or her mother.”

During a conversation between Rizzuto and the girl’s mother, according to the affidavit, Rizzuto denied having sex with the girl and said at one point, “I thought she was 16.”

The affidavit also states that detectives examined what they believe is physical evidence of the sexual relationship, which was turned over to police by the mother. The other charges Rizzuto appeared in court Monday after being jailed last weekend on charges of disorderly conduct and violating the conditions of his bond, resulting from a brawl in Snowmass Village on Aug. 4.

Rizzuto faces charges of armed robbery and burglary stemming from a crime spree in August and September 1999.

In addition, he faces two separate charges of violating conditions of his bond, stemming from two different parties he allegedly attended in the company of his co-defendants from the crime spree. He was free on bond for both incidents, and under strict orders from a judge to have “no contact” with others implicated in the crime spree.

The latest allegation of bond violation stems from a fight that allegedly involved Rizzuto and Thomas Colver, 19. Colver is alleged to have participated in a robbery last summer with Rizzuto at the Aspen Alps Condominiums.

The recent fight, police say, took place early on the morning of Aug. 4, at the Pokolodi Lodge in Snowmass Village. Colver, Rizzuto and two other young men allegedly got into a fight with Brian and Jim Garrity.

Police say Rizzuto had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend at the party, which was at Brian Garrity’s apartment, and had been asked to leave. When he refused, a fight erupted, and Rizzuto’s three friends allegedly jumped to his aid.

Although Colver also is free on bond, Snowmass police indicated that his bond does not contain the same “no contact” provisions as Rizzuto’s. So Colver is likely facing a disorderly conduct charge, at worst, stemming from the Aug. 4 fight, according to Snowmass Police Chief Art Smythe.

In court on Monday, when Rizzuto’s attorney did not appear, Judge DeVilbiss decided to put the case off until this morning to give attorney Joseph St. Veltri time to travel here from the East Coast.


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