Unsealed documents reveal more alleged rape cases in Aspen area
The Aspen Times
Local law enforcement detectives are investigating five victims in the Aspen area who were allegedly sexually assaulted by two young men from Woody Creek, according to newly unsealed court documents.
District Judge Chris Seldin first sealed the documents Oct. 9, the day before Keegan Callahan, 20, and a 17-year-old boy were each arrested and charged with 13 felony counts, including six sexual assault charges that each carry a penalty of 16-to-48-years to life in prison.
That case involves a 16-year-old Aspen High School student who has spoken publicly about the situation. The allegations in that case, released for the first time Tuesday, allege that the two young men used extreme violence to work together in late July to assault the girl, according to the unsealed documents.
While investigating that case, “the Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office (became) aware of at least four other alleged sexual assaults: two involving (the 17-year-old), one involving both (the teen) and defendant Callahan and one whose investigation may show the involvement of one or both,” according to a prosecutor’s Oct. 9 motion to seal court documents.
Since then, two of those cases have been charged in District Court.
Two other possible cases against the two young men were detailed in an Oct. 16 search warrant application, which was unsealed Tuesday, for Callahan’s Woody Creek home.
The first allegedly occurred in April 2017, when Callahan and the teen picked up a girl in Callahan’s car, drove up McLain Flats Road, parked and gave her vodka, according to the search warrant application. The two young men then dropped her off at her home, but later texted her.
Callahan and the teen then drove back to her home, when Callahan allegedly came in her window and carried her out to his car, the document states. The three drove to a park in Eagle County, and Callahan allegedly raped her in the backseat of his car while the teen sat in the front seat, according to the search warrant application.
The girl said she initially “went along with it” but then she tried to push Callahan off her. Callahan allegedly said, “Don’t fight it,” and the girl started to cry, the document states. Callahan later told the girl he was drunk and didn’t remember what happened.
The second possible case came to the attention of law enforcement in late June, according to the search warrant application.
The alleged victim said she was at her friend’s house and the friend’s sister had a birthday party with between three and 20 college and high school-aged kids in attendance. The girl said she’d been drinking wine, but began to “get really tired” to the point “her body felt slow and heavy,” the application states.
The girl asked her friend if she could sleep in her bed and fell asleep. She allegedly woke up with a man on top of her “pinning her down by her arms,” though the man “moved one hand to cover her mouth when she tried to scream,” according to the document.
The man raped her, though she initially said the room was too dark to see his face. Five weeks later, the girl’s mother told police her daughter identified the 17-year-old as the alleged rapist.
“(An Aspen police officer) asked (the girl’s) mother how this disclosure came about (and) she said that (her daughter) had made a ‘voodoo doll’ as a way to help (her) process the incident and during the making of the doll (the girl) blurted out, ‘Mama it was (the 17-year-old),’” according to the search warrant application.
Prosecutor Don Nottingham said Tuesday he will decide in the next week or two if he will charge the 17-year-old in connection with that case. The Eagle County case remains under investigation by another jurisdiction, he said.
Callahan was scheduled for a preliminary hearing today in District Court to determine if probable cause exists to charge him with the initial case from Oct. 10. His lawyer, however, filed a motion to continue that proceeding, which Nottingham said he did not object to, so the hearing will occur at a later date.
The newly unsealed details related to that case are graphic and violent. The alleged victim has spoken publicly in YouTube video to tell others to seek help if they have been assaulted.
According to an affidavit, she said she passed out after drinking, but when she awoke was tied to a bed. She said she was repeatedly choked to the point of blacking out and raped, first by Callahan then by the 17-year-old, according to the documents. After the two left, the girl was able to get free and go to a bathroom, the affidavit states.
“I wanted to disappear and not live anymore,” she told police.
In early November, the 17-year-old and Callahan were charged with raping another Aspen High School girl on separate occasions in late July. The 17-year-old is charged with sexual assault that caused the alleged victim’s submission through physical force or violence and second-degree assault for allegedly choking her.
Callahan allegedly raped the same girl around the same time at the Aspen Recreation Center, according to court documents. He is charged with one count of sexual assault in that case.
The 17-year-old also was charged in early November with sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl two years ago, which was not reported until later by the girl’s grandmother, according to a sheriff’s office report.
Both young men remain incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 cash-only bonds. Callahan is at the Pitkin County Jail, while the 17-year-old is being held at a juvenile detention facility in Grand Junction.
The teen — who has been charged as an adult in the two cases involving the Aspen High School students — is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Jan. 10. A District Court judge also will determine at that time if he should be charged as a juvenile instead of an adult.
The teen is charged as a juvenile in the case involving the 5-year-old because he was 15 at the time of the alleged assault.