Carbondale man pleads not guilty to felony sexual-contact charge
The Aspen Times
A Carbondale man pleaded not guilty Monday to two felony charges stemming from a November incident in which he allegedly groped a woman who sought his assistance with a locked door.
Luis A. Santiago-Narvaez, 34, faces one count of second-degree burglary of a dwelling and one count of unlawful sexual contact with force, according to the charges filed in Pitkin County District Court last month.
Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols scheduled a multi-day trial to start June 2. In court Monday, Santiago-Narvaez was represented by Glenwood Springs defense attorney Ted Hess.
Santiago-Narvaez is free on a $6,000 bond following his Nov. 6 arrest. The incident allegedly occurred after a female housekeeper got locked out of the house where she was working in the Southside neighborhood of Basalt. She was stuck on a second-floor balcony for nearly five hours and had no cellphone, authorities said.
A vehicle pulled into the driveway of the residence, and a construction worker, later identified as Santiago-Narvaez, began to walk to a construction site next door. The woman yelled out for assistance, and Santiago-Narvaez went into the house and let her inside, a Basalt Police Department report said.
The woman claims that Santiago-Narvaez made advances toward her. He attempted to hug her, but she pushed him away, Basalt police said. She thanked him for helping her but asked him to leave, the report said.
The victim told police that Santiago-Narvaez continued to push forward and did eventually hug her. As he did, he moved his hands down and groped her over her clothing, the report said. He allegedly pushed her against the bed, but she again pushed him away and insisted that he leave.
As they reached the front door, Santiago-Narvaez again touched the woman improperly, the report said.
When questioned by police, he denied being inappropriate, saying the woman immediately hugged him when he let her into the house because she was cold.
He then said he might have accidentally touched her when they hugged, according to the report. He also said that his hand may have inadvertently brushed across a private area when she pushed it away after he had touched her on the shoulder, around the time he was leaving the house, the report said.
The next court appearance for Santiago-Narvaez was set for Feb. 17.
In other District Court action Monday:
• Nichols ordered the transfer of Eric J. Nilan — who has been held by the Pitkin County Jail since his Aug. 16 arrest on charges of trespassing and felony stalking — to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Following a recent evaluation, the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health determined that Nilan, 33, is not competent to proceed with his case. Through the health department, Nilan will be given medication in an attempt to “restore competency,” officials said.
On Aug. 11, a local couple contacted Aspen police about two poems left on their front porch. The next day, police received a multimedia message from a camera they left outside the couple’s home. The message contained an image of a man leaving another note on the porch. Police found Nilan and warned him not to leave any more poems at the house, according to an arrest affidavit.
Then, on Aug. 14, police learned that Nilan had been back to the house, leaving a box of candy. An officer found him at City Market that day and warned him again to stay away from the residence, the affidavit said.
Meanwhile, the couple spoke with police and said they were having trouble sleeping as a result of Nilan’s continued contact. They also said they had a child in the house and were concerned for their family’s safety.
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Basalt town government officials learned from Waste Management that it will require a $120,000 subsidy to keep a recycling drop-off site in Willits operating in 2020. That’s double the subsidy of last year. It reflects the depressed market for recycled materials.