Sex assault case dismissed
A former Silt man accused of multiple sexual assaults on children was exonerated in a Glenwood Springs courtroom Wednesday, with his public defender citing questionable witnesses, the media and critics of the district attorney’s office.The district attorney’s office dropped the case against Alfred Owens, 53, in district court after public defender Greg Greer read a statement saying “no experienced DA ever realistically assessed the case. An experienced prosecutor indicated when the trial was reset that she did not want to handle the case and would have dismissed it.”Greer cited inconsistent statements from witnesses – juveniles and an adult – who accused Owens of at least 10 sexual assaults on children. Greer’s statement, called a factual basis for dismissal, said, “at least one of the witnesses admitted that all of the witnesses had a meeting to ‘get their stories straight.'”The statement also said the witnesses committed crimes ranging from supplying liquor to minors to lying to police, which “is significant because it undermines the credibility of the witnesses and provides a motive for fabrication.” Greer closed the statement by accusing The Aspen Times and critics of District Attorney Colleen Truden of jeopardizing Owens’ chances of receiving a fair trial.”Judge, I also feel compelled to comment on the attempt by some attorneys to manipulate this case and its outcome. Statements that were made to [the Times] jeopardized the fairness of the jury panel in this case,” Greer wrote. “I believe that due to these statements it would have been virtually impossible to select a fair and impartial jury in this jurisdiction.”I am relieved that [Assistant District Attorney Vince] Felletter puts seeking justice above any political agenda put forward by others in this legal community.”Asked to comment, Felletter told a reporter to “start printing the truth. That’s all I have to say.”He later said he was restricted from commenting on cases currently under way. “I don’t intend on losing my license,” Felletter said.He said he could talk about some cases after they are closed. “In the [Owens] case, I’ll make my choice to talk to reporters that I think are fair and honest with the facts,” he said. “You continue to print other bulls— things from some of the same attorneys. I know the attorneys we’re talking about, and the fact that a source has given you bad information on one case ought to indicate to you that they’re not a reliable source on another case.”Chad Abraham’s e-mail is email@example.com
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