Sexual exploitation of a child charge filed against longtime Aspen-area resident Peter O’Grady |

Sexual exploitation of a child charge filed against longtime Aspen-area resident Peter O’Grady

Peter O'Grady

A longtime Aspen-area caterer was formally charged last week in a child pornography case in Eagle County District Court.

Peter O’Grady faces one count of sexual exploitation of a child by video, more than 20 images, said Heidi McCollum, assistant district attorney in the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The charge is a Class 4 felony.

Because of the nature of the charge, O’Grady is not eligible for a preliminary hearing, McCollum said. In a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must persuade a judge there is enough evidence to force the defendant to stand trial on the charge or charges.

O’Grady, 69, was arrested June 30 after the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at his residence in Missouri Heights to collect computers, mass storage devices and cellphones, according to a news release issued July 2 by the Sheriff’s Office. The search netted “large amounts of suspected online child pornography being recovered as evidence, and the suspect being arrested,” the release said.

The investigation was launched after law enforcement officials received a complaint about alleged child pornography.

The affidavit that investigators filed to obtain the search warrant from a judge has been sealed from public view, as is standard procedure in a case of this type, McCollum said.

O’Grady was released from Eagle County Jail after posting a $5,000 cash bond. District Judge Paul Dunkelman approved additional conditions of his release on Wednesday. O’Grady was required to turn over his passport, McCollum said, and he can use the internet for work only.

O’Grady was represented in court Wednesday by Denver attorney Julia Stancil. She declined comment on the case Monday.

O’Grady owns Creative Catering and is known for using locally grown, organic ingredients in his recipes. He has helped in numerous nonprofit causes over the years. O’Grady also is an avid ski racing fan, based on prior letters to The Aspen Times. His arrest shocked some longtime Aspen-area residents.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 9 in Eagle.