Child molestation charges dropped from three to one
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A local judge on Monday dismissed two counts of child sexual assault by a 70-year-old man on a 7-year-old girl.
But District Judge Daniel Petre found that one charge was based on sufficient evidence to provide probable cause for an arrest and trial.
As a result, Audon Rivera was directed to appear in court again on Dec. 19 to face one count of sexual assault upon a child younger than 15, where the alleged assailant was more than four years older than the victim.
According to authorities, Rivera committed the acts more than once between July 1, 2012, and Dec. 25, 2012, on a girl who was 7 years old at the time (she is now 8 years old).
According to Garfield County Sheriff’s Office investigator Robert Glassmire, testifying at a preliminary hearing on Nov. 18, the accusations came to light when the alleged victim was riding in a car with one of her neighbors, a man named Juan Carlos, on the way back home to a mobile home park in Garfield County.
They were returning from a trip to McDonald’s, Juan Carlos told police. He said he was “taken aback” when the girl asked not to be seated next to Rivera, who also was in the vehicle, because the two had seemed friendly in the past, according to Glassmire’s testimony.
Juan Carlos told authorities that the girl later confessed to him that Rivera “had been touching her” in inappropriate ways.
Glassmire said he witnessed forensic interviews of the alleged victim and others, and said the girl “seemed despondent” when questioned by a specialist Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE interviewer. In at least one interview, Glassmire testified, the victim appeared anxious and fidgety, “as if diverting attention away” from the topic under discussion.
The victim was unable to give specific dates for the molestations, but told the SANE interviewer that “it always happens when she goes to [Rivera’s] house.”
Rivera is being represented by public defender Elise Myer, and the prosecutor in the case of deputy district attorney Steve Mallory.
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The Glenwood Springs City Council will begin piecing together the vision for South Canyon during Thursday night’s city council meeting.