Incest-case bond not dropped

Judge cites 'strong probability of conviction'

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A 45-year-old Routt County man charged with incest and sexual assault on a child asked for a bond reduction in court Wednesday, but his request was denied.

The man's bond is set at $35,000. He was arrested in December after a months-long investigation by the Routt County Sheriff's Office.

The man is charged with aggravated incest, a Class 3 felony, and sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, a Class 4 felony, for incidents that allegedly took place in 2003.

An investigation began when the Routt County Department of Human Services alerted the sheriff's office about a teenage girl who recently gave birth but refused to identify the newborn's father to officials. DNA evidence confirmed the 45-year-old suspect as the newborn's father, and he was arrested.

Public Defender Gail Morrison said his bond should be less than $20,000, which she said is typical for a Class 3 felony charge. The man does not have any prior felony convictions, she said, and has strong ties to the community so would not be at risk of skipping town.

Morrison also said the man needed to get his belongings from his home, which was being repossessed, and needed to work.

Deputy District Attorney Marc Guerette opposed any reduction in bond.

"Given the seriousness of the charges, facing a potential life sentence, anyone is a flight risk," Guerette said.

Routt County Judge James Garrecht denied the request to reduce bond, saying the charges were serious and thta the man had appeared in court before.

Garrecht said he thinks there is "a strong probability of conviction in this case."

Morrison also asked for the case to be continued to give her time to read through 103 pages of discovery that she recently received.

A status hearing on the case was set for 1 p.m. Feb. 2.


-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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