Teen sentenced in sex crimes case
A downvalley teenager on Monday was sentenced to up to two years in the department of youth corrections for three separate sex offenses.The 17-year-old, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, was found guilty by a judge in April of indecent exposure and unlawful sexual contact. He was charged with the crimes after he reportedly exposed himself to a young woman on a RFTA bus and grabbed her crotch area in November 2003.According to Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Bruce Benjamin, the woman reported the incident when she got off the bus. She later saw the teenager in town and pointed him out to police.Benjamin said the boy had been a suspect in a September 2003 indecent exposure case in Aspen, but the victim did not want to take the case to trial. Also in November 2003, the teenager was reportedly seen on another RFTA bus touching himself inappropriately, but police did not press further charges in that incident.The teenager, originally from Mexico, appeared with his mother in Pitkin County juvenile court Monday. He was sentenced to zero to 24 months in the department of youth corrections. Benjamin said the sentence is for an undetermined amount of time because the juvenile parole board will decide when he has received enough treatment to be released.School work, as well as counseling, is required in the youth corrections system, Benjamin said. There are also specialized treatment programs for teenage sex offenders. Benjamin said sex crimes is a growing segment of juvenile crimes, although it may be because more people are reporting such incidents.”If anyone witnesses an indecent exposure, it’s very important that it’s reported to the police, because it’s usually not the first and only time that it may occur,” he said. “It’s important that that type of offender be arrested and given treatment, because it can be a prelude to even more dangerous acting out sexually.”Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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