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Times article missed important facts

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the front-page article from the March 18 edition titled “Jury finds ex-Basalt cop not guilty of assault.”

I am the “ex-Basalt cop” in question, and I was appalled at the glaringly unfair bias against me in this article. I served as a police officer for less than a year, three years ago. Somehow, this warranted a mention in the headline and was also offered as evidence that, according to Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin, “as a former policewoman, she could have left the house and called the police without resorting to force.”

It’s not mentioned that Ivan was a soldier in the Serbian Army for three years, stands 6-foot, 4-inches, and weighs 220 pounds.

Yes, I “fled the scene,” as soon as I could extricate myself from Ivan’s assault, and I have my brief training as a police officer to thank for giving me the skills to get away, which may have saved my life.

The bit about my turning my nose up at a Motel 6 is ridiculous. Like many Aspenites to come before me, I have lived in some less-than-ideal situations, and loved every minute of it. When I first moved back to the area after college, I lived in a tent for two months up Independence Pass. I have shared a one-bedroom apartment in Marolt with two other people. The small studio Ivan and I shared was smaller and less comfortable than any Motel 6. I currently live in a small room in a hotel basement with exposed pipes on the ceiling and cement floors, and I couldn’t be happier. This was a ludicrous story invented by Ivan, and the fact that it was printed in the article is just silly.

The article states that Nedlin “noted that in her statement the night of her arrest, she made little mention that Popovic slapped her.” In fact, the entire reason I called the police was to report that Ivan had assaulted me. It’s mentioned in both my interview with Officer Jax and my written statement. I’m not sure how I could have made more mention.

Of less consequence, the article states that Ivan had an “uncertain immigration status.” There is nothing uncertain about the fact that Ivan entered the country in 2003 (not 2006) on a six-month tourist visa and has been living and working here illegally for eight years.

I made the mistake of not looking into Ivan’s immigration status before we were married, and I paid the price by being used, betrayed, assaulted, threatened, arrested for defending myself, losing a job (I lost my job as a hotel’s director of security because of this incident, not before it as the article states), having my faith and trust irrevocably shaken, and being humiliated at trial and in the media. I am deeply grateful for the just and correct “not guilty” verdict, but it is a small silver lining in the horrible cloud of what I’ve endured.

Kasey McQueen

Aspen


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