Basalt man asks judge for jail time and gets it
April 16, 2014
EAGLE — A Basalt man convicted of indecent exposure asked for jail instead of probation, and a judge granted his wish earlier this month.
Joaquin Rangel was sentenced to 18 months in the Eagle County jail after he exposed himself to at least five women during two separate incidents within a seven-day period in Basalt's Old Pond Park. Prosecutors say Rangel was ordered by police not to return to the park after the first incident. The five female witnesses say Rangel was rubbing the front of his pants, and that he pulled out his genitals and was rubbing it.
During his sentencing, Rangel claimed he was urinating in the park. According to the incident report, Rangel had consumed six 24-ounce beers, some whiskey and a half gallon of bourbon. His blood alcohol level was .204, more than twice the legal limit, yet he denied to investigators and the judge that he has a problem with alcohol.
Rangel told Eagle County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan that a male witness agreed he was urinating. The five female witnesses said he was masturbating.
The victims said they wanted him in jail. Rangel told his lawyers he didn't want probation and would rather go to jail. He has already been in jail five months since his arrest.
During Tuesday's sentencing, Rangel apologized to the court, saying he is a good person.
"I would like to demonstrate that there are no problems, no issues in my mind. I have never used drugs and I never have had any problems," Rangel said.
Sullivan said that's not entirely accurate and read a partial list of Rangel's criminal history in Colorado: a DUI in 2008, indecent exposure in 2008, public consumption of alcohol in 2008, using a false identification in 2011, a false reporting charge in Adams County in 2012 and numerous citations for failure to appear in court on these and other charges. When she passed sentence, Sullivan said community safety is her top priority in any case.
"It is clear you are not amenable to treatment," Sullivan said in handing down the sentence, adding that the best way to ensure community safety is to keep Rangel in jail.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com.