A judge on Wednesday dismissed charges against a Steamboat Springs man accused of making sexual advances toward his child's nanny and threatening her if she reported him.
District Judge Michael O'Hara dismissed the charges at the request of the District Attorney's Office, which reached a plea agreement with the defense. The dismissed charges included first-degree criminal trespass, harassment, intimidating a witness and indecent exposure. The suspect pleaded not guilty to the charges in February.
According to the plea agreement, the District Attorney's Office will refile a single harassment charge against the man.
"This is what should have been charged in the first place," Jeff Pagliuca, the man's Denver attorney, said of the plea agreement.
The alleged victim, a 28-year-old woman, reported the man's advances last August.
She told police her employer had been exposing himself to her for a year and claimed he threatened her with deportation if she reported the advances. The woman, who came to Colorado on a work visa, no longer lives at the man's house.
The new harassment charge, which Deputy District Attorney Erick Knaus said he intends to file soon, arises from the same facts used in the initial charges.
On Wednesday, the victim pleaded with O'Hara to uphold the charges and proceed with the scheduled June trial. "As a victim, I feel the need to have my day in court," she said. "I have tolerated many months of suffering and pain. It has been extremely difficult to go on with my day-to-day life."
Pagliuca argued the victim's statement had no bearing on the facts of the case.
"I have a client, in my opinion, who is being spoken about poorly in this courtroom."
The victim asked that Knaus, who was handed the case Monday, have more time to study the evidence. Knaus replaced former Deputy District Attorney Dave Moffat on Monday. Moffat worked out the plea agreement with the man's legal counsel before he left the district attorney's office.
Knaus said he could not presume to know what Moffat was thinking when he worked out the plea agreement but that he had no reason not to honor it.
"I'm in a position where I haven't had an opportunity to review the case at a level that I think it deserves," Knaus said. "I am not prepared to go forward with this case as it stands."
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