Wednesday, August 31, 2005
A 43-year-old Steamboat Springs man charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old boy would face life in prison if he chooses to accept a plea agreement offered to him by the District Attorney's Office.
The man is charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child and a pattern of abuse of sexual assault on a child for two incidents that allegedly occurred this summer. The man allegedly assaulted a child at the his place of employment in Steamboat and threatened the boy to not tell anyone about the incidents.
The man was scheduled to have his preliminary hearing in Routt County Court on Wednesday, but his attorney, Heather Turner, waived the right to have the preliminary hearing within the typical 30-day time frame and instead had it rescheduled for a later date.
Turner also asked Judge James Garrecht to consider lowering the man's $100,000 bond. Her initial request to reduce the bond was postponed last week.
Turner told Garrecht that the man has been a Steamboat resident for several years and that his wife will ensure that he complies with bond conditions. Turner said the man's family does not have the financial means to post the bond.
Deputy District Attorney Tammy Jenson objected to the bond re-education, because she said the man is a habitual offender and a danger to the community.
"This is a very, very serious case," she said.
The man is a convicted sex offender who failed to register in Colorado and Washington, where he previously has pled guilty to misdemeanor sexual assault charges.
"The defendant has a serious pattern of sexual assault on children," Jenson said. "Here we are again, faced with another one."
Turner told Garrecht that the man had successfully completed his probation in the Washington case and that that he did not register as a sex offender because he did not think he needed to because he was convicted of a misdemeanor offense.
Jenson told Garrecht she has offered the man a life-in-prison plea agreement on the charges he faces.
"We have a bit of investigation to do before we make any decision," Turner said.
Jenson said that if the man chooses to not accept the plea agreement and the case goes to preliminary hearing, all deals will be off.
Garrecht kept the man's bond at $100,000 because of the severity of the charges and the man's criminal history.
The man next will appear in court for his preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. Sept. 28.
-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org