Steamboat Springs A longtime Routt County fire official pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor sexual conduct charges Wednesday in Routt County Court. West Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bryan Rickman will stand trial this summer.
Rickman, 54, faces charges of unlawful sexual contact without consent, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and harassment, a Class 3 misdemeanor, in connection with a November 2007 incident. Rickman allegedly touched the buttocks of a Hayden woman without her consent while on the job.
Moffat County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brett Barkey led the investigation and filed charges Jan. 21. Routt County Deputy District Attorney Ed Veronda is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Rickman could face up to two years in prison - 18 months on the unlawful sexual contact charge and six months on the harassment charge - and $5,750 in fines.
Rickman's attorney, Erick Nordstrom, requested two to three days for the impending trial. Judge James Garrecht warned him against spending days in court painting the alleged victim as "untrustworthy."
"This whole incident took about five seconds - we don't need to spend two days trying it," Garrecht said.
Garrecht also clarified the conditions of the mandatory protection order issued in the case. Rickman is not to respond to emergency calls at the woman's residence and must leave immediately if he happens to run into her at any public places in town, Garrecht said.
Rickman declined to comment about the case Wednesday. His trial is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. June 26 in Routt County Court.
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