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Suspended Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard alpine coach removed from Pitkin County Jail

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
William Montag
montagfollo-atd-020414jpg

Suspended Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club coach William Montag is in the process of being transferred to Arapahoe County Jail where he will be held on sexual assault and incest charges.

Montag, 67, was removed from Pitkin County Jail on Monday, a jail official said. Arapahoe County Jail officials were preparing to book him into the facility by Tuesday or today, said Capt. Larry Etheridge, of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

A judge will set bond at Montag’s first court appearance, which hasn’t yet been scheduled, Etheridge said. He faces three counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and three counts of aggravated incest. Both are Class-III felonies.

Aspen Police arrested Montag on an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office warrant Thursday. Police said they were notified by the FBI that Montag had been skiing on Aspen Highlands. They arrested him without incident at AVSC’s headquarters.

AVSC hired Montag in the fall and he started work as an alpine coach in November.

On Monday, AVSC Executive Director Mark Cole emailed parents of club participants explaining that the organization was unaware of the allegations and that the warrant for Montag’s arrest was not issued until Jan. 27. “Previous background checks would not have discovered anything as a result,” says Cole’s email, his second round of communication with parents since Friday.

“As a result of this situation, several parents asked about (the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s) background screening protocol. All coaches are screened against a national database every year. Additionally, a much more comprehensive review of each coach takes place once every three years. AVSC will continue to implement the best practices for employee screening and collaborate with USSA in this effort.”

AVSC suspended Montag after he was arrested. The United States Ski and Snowboard Association also has placed his coaching license on inactive status, Cole said.

The allegations against Montag, father of reality-television star Heidi Montag, date back to more than 15 years ago, Etheridge said. Etheridge said that there is one alleged victim in the case, and authorities began investigating the claims when the woman, now in her 30s, approached them in June. 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.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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