'Predator' appears in Routt Co. court

Noel faces charges of failing to register after 2006 traffic stop

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— A man classified as a sexually violent predator appeared in Routt County Court on Wednesday for a status hearing.

Ronald Eugene Noel, 44, is facing charges of failing to register as a sex offender in Routt County. He was the subject of a community notification hearing last month at which the sheriff's office identified him as a sexually violent predator and distributed his name and picture.

Noel was arrested during a traffic stop by Steamboat Springs police Oct. 28, 2006, for failing to register in Routt County. Noel registered two days later. He is considered a transient and lives out of his car in Milner.

After Noel's hearing, Noel and his attorney, Bill Fritsche, said complicated statutes and misunderstandings led to the arrest.

Noel said before he was arrested, he had been pulled over by Colorado State Patrol on three occasions for driving infractions.

"I assumed everything was in order," Noel said.

The March 23 community meeting about Noel was mandated by a state statute that applies when a person classified as a sexually violent predator moves into a community.

A sexually violent predator is the most severe classification given to a sex offender.

Noel was convicted in Oregon in 1998 of first-degree sexual abuse on a girl who was between the ages of 5 and 8. The girl knew Noel, Sheriff Gary Wall said. It is Noel's only sexual conviction.

The crime Noel was convicted of did not classify him as a sexually violent predator. Noel was given the status because he failed to register as a sex offender in Oregon.

Fritsche told Routt County Judge James Garrecht on Wednesday they had not reached a plea agreement with Routt County Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James for the failing to register charge.

"Offers went off the table because of the community meeting, and the DA is fearing bad publicity," Fritsche told the judge.

St. James said Fritsche's argument is off the mark.

"I think we evaluated the case and made decisions based on our reasonable judgment," St. James said.

A preliminary hearing has been set for 4 p.m. April 17.

Fritsche has said the community should not be afraid of Noel.

Noel said he has been living in Routt County off and on for 20 years.

"Sometimes people that aren't familiar with me would be shocked, and probably if I was on the other side, I would be shocked given the allegations," Noel said Wednesday.

- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Gladys 7 years ago

I am willing to bet if he had not been caught, he still would not be registered.

I don't care why the pleas are off the table - I just hope they STAY off. No "deal" should ever be made with this type of criminal. He should get the maximum penalty - this is a serious offense.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years ago

UNBELIEVEABLE.... "Sometimes people that aren't familiar with me would be shocked, and probably if I was on the other side, I would be shocked given the allegations," Noel said Wednesday. WHAT ALLEGATIONS, HE WAS CONVICTED!! Also..."I assumed everything was in order," Noel said. ...He knew he had NOT REGISTERED as required so that statement is bogus. There should be MANDATORY JAIL TIME for the offender that does not register within 24 hours of relocating. I don't know what the requirements are but it would be logical if the offender had to report when and where he was going, then that agency could warn the new area PD. The new PD could put out a warrant if the offender hasn't registered in a reasonable amount of time. Mandatory jail time... let's get some justice here!!

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whyquestion 7 years ago

wonder if he is still pro liberal pot use????? looks like it may have got him in a mess of trouble???????why aren't his friends in oc coming to his aid?????

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justice4all 7 years ago

A tip of the hat to attorney Fritsche. While he is representing an accused he must still see to it that justice is done for his client and the general public. I feel that he is right on target when he said that the D A is afraid of bad publicity. Fact is, bad or not the truth is the truth. The D A is running scared and she has a reason to. If you have not signed the recall petition, do so. Time is running out

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kingsride 7 years ago

What are you talking about, justice for the general public? If Fritsche had his way this guy would walk, with no time, and no further restrictions whatsoever.

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