Man cleared of indecent exposure, other charges

Several more serious charges dropped, one misdemeanor stands

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A single misdemeanor charge of harassment has been filed against a Steamboat Springs man cleared of more severe charges earlier this week.

On Wednesday, District Judge Michael O'Hara dismissed charges of first-degree criminal trespass, harassment, intimidating a witness and indecent exposure. A nanny who lived in the man's home and cared for his child accused him of making sexual advances toward her and threatening her with deportation if she reported him. The woman was in the United States on a work visa.

The man said the woman's allegations were unfounded. At Wednesday's hearing, the man's defense attorney, Jeff Pagliuca of Denver, told O'Hara the man successfully passed a lie detector test, indicating he had not done the things the nanny accused him of doing.

"(There was) no deception indicated on any questions," Pagliuca said of the polygraph.

The new charge of harassment is a class 3 misdemeanor. Former Deputy District Attorney Dave Moffat reached a plea agreement with the defense that called for dismissing all charges in exchange for a guilty plea to the misdemeanor.

Deputy district attorney Erick Knaus, who replaced Moffat on Monday, said he filed the new charge after the Wednesday hearing. The man is expected to enter his guilty plea and be sentenced May 20.

The misdemeanor charge implies that the man verbally harassed the alleged victim, Knaus said. At best, the man raised his voice to her when she accused him of making sexual advances, Pagliuca said.

"The only reason I am pleading guilty to this misdemeanor is to end this nightmare," the man said.

O'Hara is expected to order the man to perform 48 hours of community service.

The victim, who stands by her accusations, pleaded Wednesday for more time for Knaus to study the facts of the case and said she wanted her day in court.

Pagliuca argued her accusations were riddled with inconsistencies.

-- To reach Danie Harrelson call 871-4203

or e-mail dharrelson@steamboatpilot.com

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