Aspen police officer accused of sex crime and child abuse resigns
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado – An Aspen police officer – accused of child abuse and trying to sexually exploit a minor in a bathroom at the officer’s home – was arrested Wednesday and has since resigned.
Joseph Holman, 38, is accused of two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, tampering with evidence, child abuse and attempted criminal invasion of privacy, court records show.
Holman, who faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted, joined the Aspen Police Department in October 2000 as a community safety officer.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into the alleged incident in May. The sheriff’s office was acting on information provided to them by Pitkin County Health and Human Services regarding a video camera found inside the alleged victim’s shower.
The camera was “discovered in a toy bag in the bathtub,” according to an affidavit from agent Brooks Bennett of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The bureau was brought in to assist with the investigation at the request of the sheriff’s office.
Portions of the affidavit have been redacted as a matter of court policy.
The victim told authorities she went to take a shower in her bathroom on April 29. She said she “started the shower, opened the curtain and was about to start undressing when she saw something out of place in the front of the toy bag,” the affidavit states.
She said that the “object was kind of obvious because it had a yellow ring around it.”
The yellow ring turned out to be the seal of a waterproof case for the camera. The ping-pong ball sized camera was later determined to be a battery powered “Camball” model, the affidavit states.
When the victim told somebody in the house about the camera a telephone call was made to Holman, who returned to the house. Holman apparently said he did not know how the device got in the bag.
At some point that night he was having a conversation with someone at the residence in which he apparently said: “Do you think I did it as a pervert move?”
Shortly thereafter, Holman apparently destroyed the camera by stomping on the device. The following morning he apparently admitted to placing the camera in the bag saying that “he was very angry at [the victim] for the way she has acted in the past few weeks.”
The investigator later learned that Holman was using his department-provided laptop to view “the digital images recorded by the camera.”
The victim was apparently living at Holman’s home at the time of the incident. It was not clear if they are related.
Holman was placed on paid administrative leave by the department May 29, according to spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro. The length of the leave was indefinite pending the result of an internal investigation.
Police Chief Richard Pryor could not be reached for comment.
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