A Routt County sheriff's deputy was fired after an internal investigation into allegations that he had sex multiple times with a 17-year-old girl, sources close to the investigation confirmed.
The deputy and the girl were involved in a school program together, the sources said.
The sheriff's office fired the 34-year-old patrol deputy April 15, less than two days after the allegations surfaced, and the employee was placed on administrative leave.
The case has been handed over to the District Attorney's Office, which could pursue criminal charges, Routt County Sheriff John Warner said.
"From the time we learned about it to the time the final decision was made to fire the deputy was less than two days," Warner said. "We considered this so serious that ... we had six people assigned to the (internal) investigation."
Attorney Charles Feldmann, who is representing the former deputy, said it is not clear that his client did anything criminal, even if the allegations prove to be true.
"It's a tragedy we're trying to get to the bottom of," Feldmann said. "The law on this is really all over the place; it's just a really complicated mess."
Colorado's Criminal Code indicates that, depending on the circumstances, it is not a crime for a 17-year-old to consent to sex with a 34-year-old. However, it is a crime for an adult who is in a position of trust in relationship to a child younger than 18 to have sexual contact with that child.
District Attorney Bonnie Roesink said her office has agreed to investigate the case, but she would not say what charges could be filed, if any, or when the investigation would be completed.
"It is a fairly involved investigation," she said.
The same DA investigator who worked on a recent case involving a Moffat County deputy who had sex with an inmate will investigate this case, Roesink said. The Moffat County deputy has since pleaded guilty.