Jail time, 4 years probation for New Castle man in hot springs sex assault involving teenager | PostIndependent.com

Jail time, 4 years probation for New Castle man in hot springs sex assault involving teenager

A 61-year-old New Castle man has been sentenced to 45 days in the Garfield County Jail and four years of probation for an incident in which he admitted to inappropriately touching a teenage girl at the primitive South Canyon hot springs earlier this year.

Kenneth Hartley was sentenced Sept. 16 by Garfield County District Judge Denise Lynch, after he had pleaded guilty in July to a misdemeanor charge of sexual contact without consent, as well as a charge of marijuana distribution.

The charges stemmed from an incident on Feb. 7 at the undeveloped South Canyon hot springs, sometimes referred to as the “hot pots.”

Hartley was a registered sex offender from previous violations, according to court records. He was initially charged with felony sex assault and three misdemeanors for his actions that afternoon when, according to an arrest affidavit, he offered a 16-year-old girl marijuana and then had sexual contact with her when they were soaking in one of the makeshift pools with other individuals.

Hartley had remained free on bond since two days after his arrest following the incident. He began serving his jail sentence on Friday, according to jail inmate records.

Hartley was arrested by Glenwood Springs Police following a report by the victim and family members that he inappropriately touched the victim while in the pool, according to the arrest affidavit.

The hot springs are located on city land along the South Canyon Road, just below the entrance into the city-owned landfill. Over the years, the city has attempted several times to limit or prevent access to the naturally occurring hot springs. Discussions were recently renewed about possibly developing the site as a visitor attraction.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

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