Roaring Fork sexual assault suspect faces court review

As community members in the Roaring Fork Valley anxiously await developments, a man with ties to a local soccer club accused of sexual assault had an arraignment  Thursday. 

Cesar Herrera Romero, 20, faced 9th Judicial District Court Judge John Neiley.

Arrested on June 7, Romero is charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child and an additional count of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. 

Romero’s association with a Roaring Fork United Soccer Club, where he allegedly used his access to players to commit the offenses, has elevated community interest in the case.

The Carbondale Police Department began its investigation after the Pitkin County’s Sheriff’s Office alerted them in early February to juveniles disclosing sexual assault incidents allegedly involving Romero.

Cesar Herrera Romero

During Thursday’s hearing, Romero’s attorney, Peter Rachensky, initially sought to postpone the next court date to Nov. 16. District Attorney Virginia Sorrell pushed for a shorter continuance, arguing for a hearing within a month.

“This is a case with a number of victims and victims’ families,” Sorrell said. “Continuing for another two months is not something that I was anticipating we would be doing. I have held off on having conversations with the families of the victims, hoping to have some mitigation or additional information.”

Rachensky signaled he had no objections to the shorter timeline.

“I don’t object to that, your honor,” Rachensky said. “I just want to let the people know, this case, from my viewpoint, is only three months old. Cases like this are never ready to go in a three-month time span.”

Neiley ruled that the next court appearance for Romero will be a review scheduled for Oct. 26. The review will strictly serve as a check-in date and that any subsequent continuances would require more substantive action, such as a plea or sentence.

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