Defense wants suppression of evidence in Centennial rape case in Aspen |

Defense wants suppression of evidence in Centennial rape case in Aspen

Rick Carroll
Aspen Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado – The defense team for a man accused of sexually assaulting a woman at the Centennial apartments complex is contending the suspect’s constitutional rights were violated the day of his arrest.

Over the course of six hours Thursday, three witnesses in the case of Emanuel Gonzalez-Loujun, 22, testified in Pitkin County District Court as part of an evidence-suppression hearing.

The hearing was continued to Jan. 19, during which time the alleged victim is expected to testify. The alleged victim was scheduled to take the stand Thursday, but did not because of time constraints.

The accuser, who was subpoenaed by the defense to testify, spent the day sequestered inside the courthouse but outside the courtroom, as witnesses are prohibited from hearing others’ testimony.

Gonzalez-Loujun, of Carbondale, faces up to a lifetime behind bars for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in the early morning hours of Jan. 17, 2009, outside of Aspen’s Centennial Apartments. Since his arrest, he has been in the custody of the Pitkin County jail on $250,000 bond.

Authorities believe the woman, against her will, performed at least three sexual acts with Gonzalez-Loujun. They also claim Gonzalez-Loujun dragged her to a snowbank and raped her twice, threatening to kill himself with a gun if she didn’t comply with his demands.

He also faces felony charges connected to resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, along with counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and attempted distribution of a controlled substance (cocaine).

His public defenders, Stephen McCrohan and Tina Faing, have filed seven motions on which Judge James Boyd will decide.

Three of the motions to pertain to evidence suppression, including one that argues Gonzalez-Loujun’s rights were violated the morning he was interrogated at the Pitkin County jail.

“Prior to the interrogation Mr. Gonzalez was not permitted to sleep, use the bathroom or to urinate,” the motion says.

The motion also contends he was not advised of his Miranda rights before to the interrogation, and he also was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Another motion seeks to suppress statements Gonzalez-Loujun made to sexual assault nurse examiner Carol Began. The defense claims she interrogated the suspect and provided his statements to Aspen police, yet she did not advise him of his Miranda rights.

Began testified in Thursday’s hearing, and said that Gonzalez-Loujun told her “I had a relapse and made some bad choices at the bar.”

The suspect, Began told the court, was “very quiet” during his sexual assault examination, a head-to-toe evaluation the nurse performed more than 12 hours after the alleged rape.

Defense lawyers also want to suppress the alleged victim’s identification of Gonzalez-Loujun because he was not given due process.

They claim that the when the woman identified him as the perpetrator, the procedure was “suggestive” because he was in front of a police vehicle and there was no suspect lineup.

Gonzalez-Loujun was in custody at the time of the identification, after he allegedly assaulted a police officer and was found with cocaine. Police had encountered him walking away from the Centennial Apartments when they were reporting to a dispatch report that a rape had occurred.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.