EAGLE — A local man faces up to six years in prison after a jury convicted him of threatening to report women co-workers to immigration if they refused to have sex with him.
Omar Quezada was Vail Run’s housekeeping director when two women, both here illegally working as housekeepers in the hotel, accused him of demanding sex from them and threatening to turn them in to Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they refused.
Prosecutor Joe Kirwan called it a classic “he said/she said” case. He convinced the jury and alternates, eight women and five men, to convict Queada on a criminal extortion charge, a Class 4 felony.
Quezada’s attorney, Brett Heckman, argued that the evidence showed that the women concocted these stories, and that they submitted false versions of their immigration documentation.
There was no video footage from Vail Run’s security system, and there were no other witnesses. Quezada’s accusers didn’t come forward for more than a year after they say the harassment began.
His accusers could now be eligible for a U visa, which gives victims of certain crimes temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to four years.
Quezada will be back in court at 1 p.m. Jan. 6 for a sentencing hearing.
He faces up to six years in prison and fines up to $500,000 for the criminal extortion and up to two years in jail for unlawful sexual contact.
Quezada was hired by Vail Run in August 2011 to manage the hotel’s housekeeping department. During the three-day trial, he testified that when he walked in the door they gave him instructions to “clean house” and get rid of the dishonest employees.
A few had their hours cut, including his two accusers, he said. They were upset, but he testified that they explained to them that it was better than getting fired because there wasn’t enough work.
One of those two women got Quezada called into the Vail Run manager’s office when one of the Social Security numbers she was using did not match the hotel’s personnel records. Neither did the name.
She was apparently using her sister’s name and Social Security number, who was working at Vail Run on the weekends.
His accuser stayed with the hotel and her sister quit.
Quezada faces another trial stemming from charges from the other accuser.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.