Former AVSC coach pleads not guilty to sex crimes

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
William Montag

A former Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club coach, who also is the father of a TV reality star, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of sexual assault and incest, his attorney said.

Aspen police arrested William Montag, 68, on Jan. 29 after he finished skiing at Aspen Highlands. He was taken into custody on a warrant from Arapahoe County, where the sex crimes allegedly occurred, at the AVSC clubhouse.

Montag, who had a Glenwood Springs address at the time of his arrest, has retained Golden attorney Forrest Lewis. Lewis said Montag, who is free on $50,000 bond, previously waived preliminary hearing before entering his not-guilty plea. A 10-day trial has been set for October in Arapahoe County District Court, Lewis said. “Mr. Montag is serious about his not-guilty plea,” Lewis said.

Lewis declined to discuss Montag’s defense to the charges, which stem from alleged incidents from more than 15 years ago. The case file is suppressed.

“Allegations were brought forward by a woman, who is now an adult, who had alleged a sexual assault a little more than 15 years ago during a period of time when she was between 14 and 17,” Capt. Larry Etheridge of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office told The Aspen Times at the time of the arrest.

Montag most recently lived in Glenwood Springs when he was a coach for AVSC. AVSC hired him last fall, and he started work in November.

The arrest attracted national attention because Montag is the father of reality TV star Heidi Montag.

William Montag faces three counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and three counts of aggravated incest. All charges are Class-III felonies.

AVSC officials said they were not aware of the allegations against Montag until police showed up at the nonprofit’s headquarters on the day of the arrest, leading to his immediate suspension.

AVSC also notified parents of Montag’s arrest.

At the time of the arrest, Denver media outlets, citing an arrest affidavit, reported that Heidi Montag is not the alleged victim and that her father allegedly was involved in more than 50 incidents with the accuser.

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