Rape case charges dropped

District Attorney's Office cites 'exculpatory information'

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— A Steamboat Springs man accused of rape was released from Routt County Jail on Friday after the District Attorney's Office dropped all charges in the case.

The 32-year-old man was arrested March 27 on suspicion of raping a female acquaintance at his Steamboat Springs condominium. He had been charged with third-degree sexual assault, a Class 3 felony, and second-degree false imprisonment, a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Charges were dropped because the "continued investigation has revealed significant exculpatory information which impacts viability of prosecution," according to court documents. Prosecutor Kerry St. James, who filed the motion to dismiss the case, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Bank theft suspect due in court today

One of the two women accused of embezzling more than $1.2 million from Alpine Bank accounts is due to appear in Routt County Court at 2 p.m. today for a status conference.

Routt County resident Terri Dawn Moody Fatka, 41, made her first appearance in Routt County Court last week when her attorney Erick Knaus indicated her case is likely to go to trial.

Fatka and her alleged co-conspirator, Milner resident Pamela Jean Williams, each are charged with two counts of theft more than $20,000, and two counts of forgery, a Class 5 felony.

According to sworn police affidavits, Fatka is suspected of stealing $816,015 through 113 forged bank documents between April 11, 2005 and Jan. 3, 2008.

On April 9, Judge James Garrecht denied Knaus' request to set a preliminary hearing - during which a judge hears all the evidence in the case to determine if the prosecution has shown there is enough cause to take the matter to trial. The District Attorney's Office traditionally does not make plea agreements with defendants who have proceeded to a preliminary hearing.

Williams, who is represented by Charles Feldmann, waived her right to such a hearing last week in Routt County Court. She is due to appear before Judge Shelley Hill at 1 p.m. May 5 in Routt County District Court.

Comments

justice4all 6 years ago

RE Rape Case Charges Dropped Here we go again. Another innocent person has become a VICTIM of DA Rostink and her staff. If their less than effective investigator, JOSEPH DEANGELO, had done his job BEFORE causing this mans' arrest he would not have 1- been arrested in the first place, 2-not had his name smeared and reputation ruined, 3- not have been unlawfully deprived of his freedom by being jailed like a dog in a cage, 4-not have had to incur the expenses ass ociated with dealing with a an unscruplous DA and her staff.

Rostink, Deangelo and the staff involved should be required to compensate this man in every way. A price can be established for his out-of-pocket expenses. The price of the damage to ones reputation is enormous. What would it be worth if YOU of your family was their next victim???? The DA is doing this to innocent people while on our payroll. She is spending our tax money to harrass people, damaging their reputation and then saying that she can not prove their case and dropping the charges that should not have been filed in the first place. This is a waste of our tax money. What will it take to make the people of the 14th Judicial District wake up and RECALL this very poor excuse for a DA? Remember, the list of THEIR VICTIMS is growing and you or your loved ones could be next.

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slinger01 6 years ago

justice4all you obviously have had a bad experience with the DA's office as you seem to blame the DA's office any time there is a dismissal of charges. If you had any idea how the justice system works you would realize that MANY times the law enforcement agency that made the original charges against the accused asks for the dismissal. Have you ever given any thaught that maybe new evidence surfaces during the investigation that indicates the accused is totally innocent or that maybe the victim might have provided untrue information. You need to do some research before you start pointing your finger at someone or some agency. Remember when you point your finger at someone or something you have three others pointing at yourself. If you want to start a blog about somehing interesting, lets start one about your dilemma and why you hate the DA's office. Now that one would be interesting.

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Gladys 6 years ago

Aside from having no faith in the competance of the DA's office, I find it disturbing that someone could be so quickly charged with rape. That is a serious crime. I would think a thorough investigation would need to be done first. I don't think an arrest based on suspicion (and a one sided story) is appropriate.

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slinger01 6 years ago

Law enforcement agencies or thier law enforcement officers make the arrests, not the DA, the DA is responsible for prosecuting the case. Justice4all is making the accusation that the DA is responsible for the investigation and maybe someone being wrongfully arrested. The DA has absolutely nothing to do with the original arrest. If their lacks probable cause for the arrest or if information surfaces later during an investigation that indicates the accused is innocent, the DA is obligated to dismiss the charges. Even if the arresting agency asks for the dismissal of charges, it is the DA's responsibility to dismiss the charges. That is why you never read the headline of a story "POLICE DEPT or SHERIFFS OFFICE or STATE PATROL DROPS CHARGES", they can not drop the charges, the DA has to drop the charges. Justice4all needs to do some research before he starts trying to blame someone for something that might appear to be poor police work on any one's part. Justice4all, as usual, is just making assumptions and making accusations based on an article in a local news paper without knowing all the facts. It is clear that justice4all has no idea of how the justice system works or he or she would not be making these ridicules remarks.

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justice4all 6 years ago

slinger You are wrong about why I am so vocal. Just take a minute or a few hours to review the many cases of the DA mistreating people in the abuse and exercise of their duties. Most recently, look at the 2 men in Craig arrested and charged with serious drug offenses and then there is the young man that was charged with assault for defending himself. Again: Would you have the same opinion if it were you or a family member or a loved one that was violated in the way these and many more were? I appreciate your comments and certainly you are right in saying that sometimes things do surface to change the direction of an investigation. My point is------ the investigation should be done B E F O R E an arrest is made and ones' character and reputation is damaged. Would you feel the same way if it happened in your house? Personally, I have always been one to believe in our judicial system and stand up for the under-priviledged and those mistreated. I will maintain that position.

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justice4all 6 years ago

slinger One more time, I will take issue with you. It is true that police agencies do make the arrests. However; it is the DA or judge that issues the warrant. The DA has the responsibility of doing the investigation based on the officers affadavit and report and then deciding to or not to prosecute and authorize a warrant. It is clear that the DA investigator does not do his work efficiently. Take a close look at the prosecution. Those that accept a plea are usually the ones that can not afford an attorney. I have done more research on these issues than most and I maintain my position. Would your opinion be the same if it affected you or your house? You could be their victim. I hope that you are not.

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Benny 6 years ago

Law enforcement make arrests based on "probable cause". The district attorney's job is to prosecute the case. They have the "beyond a reasonable doubt" burden. "Probable cause" and "beyond a reasonable doubt" are two different things and that is why these things happen sometimes.

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playa46 6 years ago

Benny, Actually, I think that the police can't search under probably cause, but under a search warrant. But maybe your right, we just learned this in our Civics Class........

Justice4all, Slinger01 is correct, you don't have much fact, but lots of opinion. However, you ever paid attention to our justice system, (like you claim) you would know all about the 4th amendment of the constitution, Searches and Siezures. Policemen can't randomly say, I need to search your house. Yes, I agree that rape is a serious crime, but the police will keep their eye on this guy, he won't try and rape you...lol.

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Benny 5 years, 12 months ago

I was talking about arrests not searches. Arrest warrants are also written (and signed by the judge) based on probable cause.

Police can, in fact, search under probable cause. For example: if you are pulled over and the officer sees drug or drug parapernaila in plain view in your vehicle, he can legally search your car. Search and siezure laws are very clear and the laws favor the civillian, but searching under probable cause is legal. Officers sometimes ask to search your vehicle or home when they do not have probable cause and it is completely voluntary and they can not search, legally, if you do not allow them to. An officer does not always need a search warrant in order to search.

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corduroy 5 years, 12 months ago

sadly in the new "police state" the USA is becoming its "arrest first, come up with some crime later"

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freerider 5 years, 12 months ago

The police and DA in this town are way outta control.....I agree with justice4all this guy should go after the DA .. Sue the crap out of them so they will have to start doing there jobs..they think they don't have to be accountable for there actions right or wrong...it's pathetic

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