Motion hearing held Friday |

Motion hearing held Friday

Man accused of sexual assault will begin trial Jan. 12

Susan Cunningham

A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman May 17 in Klumker Field appeared in District Court on Friday for a motions hearing.

The 35-year-old man faces two felony charges of sexual assault — one charge is for sexual assault, a Class 4 felony, and the other is for using force during the assault, a Class 3 felony.

A five-day jury trial is set to begin Jan. 12.

During the motions hearing Friday, District Judge Michael O’Hara ruled on issues that need to be resolved before the trial, such as discovery and presentation of evidence and calling of witnesses.

Public Defender Gail Morrison said during her motion related to choosing and examining potential jurors that one defense during the case would be that the incident was consensual.

The man was an acquaintance of the victim, who was 25 at the time of the assault. Both resided in Steamboat Springs at the time.

The woman told police that she and the suspect were walking from a dance class to the park when he made physical advances toward her and that she told him to stop.

When they walked to the baseball diamond and down into the dugout, the man pushed the woman onto the ground and assaulted her while holding her down by the shoulders, she told police.

The woman returned to her dance class and her friends took her to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where she later told police about the assault.

One of the motions Morrison presented was asking to have notes from the district attorney and victim advocates revealed during discovery. O’Hara granted the motion but noted that Deputy District Attorney Erick Knaus has said that no notes exist.

Another of Morrison’s motions was to have police and investigators’ notes revealed during discovery. Knaus again said no such notes exist, to which Morrison replied that the notes were destroyed and that she would like a reasonable opportunity to question police and investigators about why the notes were destroyed.

O’Hara said that the defense is entitled to ask if notes were prepared, “even if the answer is that the notes were destroyed after incorporation in the report, which is the response that I usually hear.”

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