Fire chief faces sexual conduct charges | SteamboatToday.com

Fire chief faces sexual conduct charges

Melinda Dudley

— A longtime Routt County fire official has been charged with unlawful sexual contact and harassment, both misdemeanors, relating to a November 2007 incident.

West Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bryan Rickman, 54, faces charges of unlawful sexual contact without consent, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and harassment, a Class 3 misdemeanor. He was charged Jan. 21. According to court documents, Rickman is accused of touching the victim’s buttocks without consent.

The victim’s age and gender are unknown.

The alleged incident occurred while Rickman was on the job, Routt County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Ken Klinger said. Klinger declined to comment further, except to note that the investigation is ongoing.

Rickman, who lives in the Hayden area, was out of town Friday and could not be reached for comment. Rickman’s attorney, Erick Nordstrom, did not return calls for comment.

Moffat County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brett Barkey, who led the investigation, and 14th Judicial District Attorney Bonnie Roesink also declined to comment or provide additional information about the charges.

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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 is due to appear in court at 10 a.m. March 5.