Fire official to stand trial

Rickman pleads not guilty to sexual conduct charges

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— 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.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

justice4all 6 years, 8 months ago

Certainly seem that Judge Garrecht is way off base on this one. WHAT IF Mr Rickman is the only one available to respond to "her' emergency? WHAT IF Mr Rickman responds to her emergency in a life-threatening situation? Is he just supposed to walk away and ignore his duties as a trained professional? I think that Garrecht must have forgotten the part about "INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY". And telling the defense attorney that he is limited to a certain amount of time to dis-prove the allegations of the DA or to prove his clients' innocence is denying the accused his right to a fair trial. I have not heard the judge tell the DA that they have a limited amount of time to procecute. It seems that in this case the judge has already taken sides and that is not his job.

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weallnutz 6 years, 8 months ago

coloradobu- I recommend you know more facts about cases before you disregard a person. Judge Garrecht does what he can with the evidence he is given. It seems you read the paper but not the full reports of cases.

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1234 6 years, 8 months ago

justice4all, so you think the judge is wrong to say he is not to respond, say like in a life threatening situation--- what if he was the only one to respond, and did nothing at all !!! maybe the judge is looking out for the best intrest here? always there is some one else to respond, so lets not have the suspect be there.

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