Steamboat Springs A Yampa man suspected of strangling and sexually assaulting a woman in a January domestic dispute pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge of felony second-degree assault.
Steven Patrick Padilla Jr., 34, faces five to 16 years in prison, with three years of mandatory parole after his release and up to $500,000 in fines, Judge Shelley Hill said. Hill tentatively accepted Padilla's guilty plea, pending a pre-sentence investigation by the probation department.
Padilla allegedly assaulted a woman at her Yampa home in the early morning of Jan. 19 when, according to sworn affidavits, he tried to strangle her with a nylon stocking, force-fed her pills and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.
A friend sent to check on the woman later that day found her extremely disoriented and bruised, with both eyes swollen shut and the nylon stocking still around her neck, the affidavits state. The woman was transported via ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where she was found to have several facial fractures.
Padilla and the victim had been engaged in a long-standing domestic dispute, according to the Routt County Sheriff's Office. In the month before the Jan. 19 incident, the man was arrested three times on suspicion of violating a restraining order held by the victim.
Padilla originally was charged with felony domestic violence charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and first-degree sexual assault, as well as misdemeanor charges of violating a protection order. He has remained in custody at the Routt County Jail since his Jan. 20 arrest, in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The District Attorney's Office discussed the plea agreement with the victim in the case Wednesday, and she gave her approval, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said.
Padilla is due to appear in Routt County District Court for final sentencing at 1 p.m. July 18.