Steamboat man faces sexually related charge

— A 51-year-old Steamboat Springs man has been jailed in lieu of $20,000 because of allegations he improperly touched a family member, Routt County Sheriff John Warner said.

Warner said the man was arrested Tuesday after family members reported the allegations.

"This was reported by the victim's parents last week," Warner said. "We interviewed the victim and also the suspect."

Warner and a prosecutor declined to reveal specific details of the allegations.

After his arrest, the man was booked into the Routt County Jail. He appeared in Routt County Court Wednesday afternoon.

Garrecht set the man's bail at $20,000 at the urging of Deputy District Attorney David Moffat.

During the advisement in court, Moffat asked for Garrecht to seal the man's court file, which details the investigation.

During the court proceeding, Moffat notified Garrecht he has filed formal charges in the case. He said he has charged the man with a class three felony based on the investigation.

After the proceeding, Moffat declined to answer any questions about the case or the charge.

He said any information the public is entitled to should come from the court file he sought and successfully sealed in court Wednesday.

Asked if the charge was a sexual assault, Moffat said, "It is in the same ballpark, but you would be wrong if you reported that."

Moffat declined to elaborate further or field any additional questions about the case.

He said he could not talk about the case or the charge because his duty to protect the victim outweighs any interest by the public.

"Until the court orders me to reveal anything, I am going to protect the victim's rights," Moffat said.

During the proceeding, the man's wife notified the court she has consulted with an attorney, but legal counsel has not been retained.

The man, who for the majority of the hearing sat in the jury box with his head down, said he may be able to get enough money to post bond.

The man's next court appearance is set for 1 p.m. May 15.

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