Local man accused of sexual assault


— A 19-year-old Steamboat Springs man has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman during a hike at the Steamboat Ski Area.
The man was arrested at about 8 p.m. Friday for the incident that allegedly occurred the evening of Sept. 13.
The man is facing a charge of second-degree sexual assault, a Class 4 felony.
The second-degree sexual assault charge indicates "a person knowingly inflicts sexual penetration or sexual intrusion on a victim," said Steamboat Springs Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing.
The man was arrested after police were notified of the incident by a women's advocacy group, Fiebing said.
The victim "contacted the Advocates Against Battering and Abuse," he said. "The group then contacted us Sept. 19. We then interviewed her."
The woman, who recently moved to the area, told police she met the suspect in September.
The alleged assault occurred on the ski mountain, during the night of Sept. 13, he said.
"The suspect suggested to the woman that they go up to an area of the ski mountain and go for a hike," Fiebing said. "They drove up to the ski area and began hiking."
During the hike, the woman wanted to stop for a rest, Fiebing said.
"When they stopped to rest, the alleged sexual assault occurred," he said.
The man and the woman then hiked back down the mountain to her vehicle. She then drove the man to an area grocery store, Fiebing said.
"She was scared and confused," he said.
The woman got back to her home about 10:45 p.m., Fiebing said.
With the information police got from the woman, officers contacted the man at his work Sept. 20. On that day, the man came in to the police department to talk to investigators.
"He felt the acts were consensual," Fiebing said.
After compiling all the information, the police department issued an arrest warrant for the man Sept. 23.
The man was arrested that day at about 8 p.m. at the KOA Campground, 3603 Lincoln Ave.
"The man moved to Steamboat Springs sometime last year," Fiebing said. "He has been living in a camper at the KOA."
The man is scheduled to appear in a Routt County courtroom Friday for a bond hearing. He is being held at the Routt County Sheriff's Office on a $20,000 bond.
If convicted of second-degree sexual assault, the man can be sentenced to a maximum of 16 years in prison. The minimum sentence is two years.

To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail gsalazar@amigo.net


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