Routt County man standing trial for sexual assault on child


— A Routt County jury this week has been hearing testimony in a sexual assault trial involving a 39-year-old Stagecoach man and a boy who was 7 years old at the time.

The trial began Tuesday and was scheduled for three days. The jury is expected to begin deliberating Thursday.

The Stagecoach man has been charged with sex assault on a child, a Class 4 felony; sex assault on a child with a pattern of abuse, a Class 3 felony; and sex assault on a child younger than age 15, a Class 4 felony.

Steamboat Springs attorney Larry Combs is representing the Stagecoach man.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today does not typically identify those accused of sex crimes until they have been convicted.

The man was arrested in September after an investigation by the Routt County Sheriff's Office. He later was released after posting a $250,000 bond.

According to testimony during the trial, a woman from the Denver area had visited the Stagecoach man at his home on two occasions with her two young sons and two daughters.

A few months after the May 2012 visits, the mother testified that her 7-year-old son told her that the Stagecoach man had had sexual contact with him.

The scared and nervous child took the stand Wednesday afternoon while his mother sat behind the prosecutors. Despite persistence from Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle, the child did not want to talk about the details related to the accusations. He said he did not want to use naughty words.

"I don't really feel like talking about it," the boy said repeatedly.

After the testimony, Prindle told Judge Shelley Hill that it was not unusual for a child victim to be nervous, embarrassed and hold back when put on the stand.

"He didn't want to say certain words in front of perfect strangers," Prindle said, referring to a 12-member jury and two alternates.

Combs asked for a mistrial because the boy was unable to talk about details from the incidents that investigators said took place.

Combs also took issue with the boy not being able to identify the man in the courtroom who is suspected of sexually assaulting him.

"I can't see him at all," the boy said.

The Stagecoach man was wearing an eyepatch because of a medical issue, and Prindle said he had shaved his beard since the assault allegedly occurred.

"The way he's dressed, he might as well come in wearing a disguise," Prindle said.

Hill ruled that the boy not being able to identify the man was not grounds for a mistrial.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email


John St Pierre 3 years, 11 months ago

Why in one story the name and picture... and in this one...nothing??? This defendent was arrested then charged and is now on tril in a public venue... so why no name????

in the previous story they not only identified but showed his picture... and both are sexual crimes...
so the Pilots policy of : " The Steamboat Pilot & Today does not typically identify those accused of sex crimes until they have been convicted".. is what????? dependent on race, color???? just curious..... I have no mercy for either cases.... but what is the Pilot policy???


John St Pierre 3 years, 11 months ago

Maybe the DA should show the boy his booking picture..... but I guess a good move by the defense attorney... where's the history news thread that the Pilot usually runs with their stories..


John St Pierre 3 years, 11 months ago

AHHH I see the news thread was added... thank you Pilot


Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago


You are right that it makes no sense to show a booking photo and name the person, but then not name a person on trial. The Routt County Court's website has an option to show the court docket which names the defendant in the only jury trial tomorrow. So the paper's policy is similar to how Britain sometimes censors a story that is freely readable from US news organization. Ie. very ineffective.

Meanwhile, an arrest can be made based upon unproven allegations so some news organizations are more reluctant to name those arrested.


Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

As for the boy not testifying, the reasons given by the boy for not giving details suggest that something inappropriate happened. The boy clearly did not say that nothing happened.

Nor does identification matter much because it is claimed to have happened at the house and there does not appear to be any question of whom would have done it, if the jury decides it did happen.

The tricky part of young witnesses is that it is much easier for others to suggest their testimony.


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