Rifle child sexual assault case bound over for trial
Editor’s note: The defendant’s name is not being used in this case to protect the identities of the minor victims.
The case against a Rifle man accused of sexually assaulting five minors who were in his trust over multiple years has been bound over for trial, unless a plea deal is reached in the meantime.
A preliminary hearing was held July 20 for prosecutors to present evidence involving 19 felony sexual assault counts against the 55-year-old defendant.
Garfield District Judge Denise Lynch found probable cause to take the case to trial, following several hours of testimony from the lead investigators for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the 9th District Attorney’s Office.
None of the alleged victims in the case took the stand during the hearing. The case is set for an Aug. 4 arraignment hearing, at which time a jury trial may be scheduled, unless a plea is entered in the meantime.
The defendant remains in the Garfield County Jail on $100,000 bond. In December 2021, Lynch denied a request to reduce the bond to $50,000. The man has been in jail since his March 2021 arrest after the allegations, which span several years, came to light.
According to court documents, the man allegedly sexually abused one child in his care on numerous occasions from the time she was age 4 until 2018, when she was 13.
Several other alleged victims, including friends of the primary victim, also eventually came forward with similar allegations against the man, according to court documents.
Several other Garfield County cases involving sexual abuse of children by persons in positions of trust are currently being prosecuted by the 9th District Attorney.
According to Garfield County Jail inmate records, one involves a 42-year-old man who was booked on June 21 of this year. He is also is being held on $100,000 bond, and is due in court on Tuesday.
Another involves a 46-year-old male who was arrested Jan. 14 of this year, and is being held on $50,000 bond. His case is currently set for arraignment on Sept. 15.
In another case, a 29-year-old male has been in custody for sex assault on a child (not in a position of trust) since May 8, 2021. He’s still being held on $87,000 bond. A plea hearing in that case is set for Aug. 11.
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