Roaring Fork Valley teens charged with sexaully assaulting girl
Prosecutors on Friday charged two Roaring Fork Valley teen boys with repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl younger than the age of 15.
Nelson Parada Vargas, 18, of Lazy Glen and Ever Valencia, 19, of Carbondale were each charged with felony sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse. If convicted, the teens could face as much as life in prison.
“The charges and facts of this case are very serious,” Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham said.
Affidavits and mug shots of the two teens were sealed by prosecutors and not publicly available Friday. Vargas was charged in Pitkin County District Court, while Valencia was charged in Eagle County District Court because he lives in that jurisdiction, Nottingham said.
Valencia was in custody at the Eagle County Jail on Friday afternoon, according to a deputy at that facility. Efforts Friday to reach Eagle County District Attorney Bruce Brown and the prosecutor in charge of the case were not successful.
Nottingham said after the hearing that sexual contact occurred in Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties five or fewer times over a period of days or weeks during the past few months. The contact occurred with both defendants present as well as separately when just one of them was with the girl, he said.
There are no allegations of violence or forced sexual contact, Nottingham said. The defendants and the girl knew each other socially, he said. Nottingham declined to release the girl’s age, saying only that she is younger than 15.
The allegations came to light through a Colorado Attorney General’s Office tipline called Safe2Tell, which allows concerned parties to submit anonymous reports about young people in trouble, Nottingham said.
On Friday, District Judge Chris Seldin ordered Vargas held in lieu of a $10,000 cash-only bond and entered a protection order forbidding him to contact the victim, Valencia or any child younger than 14 if he posts the bond.
Vargas, a slightly built teen with short hair, asked the judge questions about court procedure and posting bond.
“This is the beginning of a long process,” Seldin told him. “Sometimes it takes over a year.”
Vargas said he would cooperate.
“I want to persevere and move forward and help my family get out of this,” he said through a Spanish interpreter.
Vargas is due back in court Monday.
A Garfield County Corrections security guard jogging in New Castle on Sunday survived being attacked by a former prisoner.
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