Sex assault suspect appears in court | AspenTimes.com
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Sex assault suspect appears in court

Chad Abraham

An Aspen radio station’s request to tape and broadcast the pretrial proceedings in the Shaun Van Dyke sexual assault case was denied by a judge Monday.KSNO can bring up its request for expanded media coverage at a later date, said District Judge James Boyd. Gail Nichols, deputy district attorney, objected to the request, citing the underage victim.The request came up during a preliminary hearing for Van Dyke, who is charged with sexual assault on a child, a felony. Nichols told Boyd she was changing the type of charge Van Dyke faces to show that penetration, not just sexual contact, allegedly occurred.”There are two types of sexual assault on a child,” she said after the hearing. “One requires proof of penetration and the other one only requires proof of sexual contact. There’s a difference in proof.”The charge itself and the possible penalties do not change, Nichols said. “They’re the same level of offense.”The change came about, she told Boyd, after investigators got further details about the alleged offense from the victim.”We have more specific information and therefore we have more specific charges,” Nichols said.According to police, Van Dyke, 24, met the 14-year-old victim at the Aspen Recreation Center ice rink, where he was employed. He has since lost his job with the city. The girl told police that she and Van Dyke had sex once, according to the arrest warrant. The girl’s mother contacted authorities and said she thought her daughter was having an affair with Van Dyke. He was arrested Dec. 14.Wearing jail-issue orange pants and a gray sweatshirt on Monday, the suspect sat with his attorney, John Van Ness, who asked that the proceeding be continued.Boyd agreed and set the preliminary hearing for Feb. 18.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com


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