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Arrest made in Monarch sexual assault attempts

Second attempt involved a gun

Police arrested a 15-year-old male Tuesday in the unusual case of two attempted sexual assaults at Monarch Mountain over the holidays.



A press release from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office dated January 6 announced that the unidentified teen from Monument, Colorado is facing a long list of charges including Felony Menacing, Aggravated Criminal Extortion, Enticement of a Child, False Imprisonment, two counts of Criminal Attempt to Commit Sexual Assault, two counts of Criminal Attempt to Commit Second-Degree Kidnapping and Harassment. According to a January 2 press release, “In [two] cases the suspect rode the lift with the victims, then followed them down the ski run to a point where he then forced them into the trees and tried to sexually assault them. In the second incident the suspect allegedly pulled a handgun and fired the weapon in an attempt to coerce the victim to cooperate. In both instances the victims were able to escape and each time the suspect fled the scene.”
The Chaffee County Sheriff says that both victims assaulted were teenage females preparing to board the lift chair alone. The first encounter occurred December 19, followed by a second attempt on January 1. The specific location of the December 19 incident was not identified but the January 1 incident took place off of the Panorama Lift.
Monarch has been criticized for not making a public announcement before January 2. One comment on the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page read, “Just let my 16 year old daughter go up today, and she has been up several times during the Christmas break. I’m wondering why we are just finding out about this now?” A comment on Monarch’s Facebook page read, “Not a word of warning? Shame on you Monarch.”
Chaffee County undersheriff John Spezze said information provided by the first victim wasn’t detailed enough for a public statement. “She didn’t provide enough information to put out,” he explained.
Spezze was unable to disclose any more information as of Wednesday, January 7 but says the investigation continues. No further arrests are expected.

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