Aspen cop, accused of sex crimes and child abuse, resigns
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado – An Aspen police officer – accused of child abuse and trying to sexually exploit a minor in a bathroom at the officer’s home – was arrested Wednesday and has since resigned.
Joseph Holman, 38, is accused of two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, tampering with evidence, child abuse and attempted criminal invasion of privacy, court records show.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the alleged incident in May. The sheriff’s office was acting on information provided to them by Pitkin County Health and Human Services regarding a video camera allegedly found inside the victim’s shower.
The camera was “discovered in a toy bag in the bathtub,” according to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation affidavit. The bureau was brought in to assist at the request of the sheriff’s office.
The victim told authorities that on April 29 she went to take a shower. She said she “started the shower, opened the curtain and was about to start undressing when she saw something out of place in the front of the toy bag,” the affidavit states.
She said the “object was kind of obvious because it had a yellow ring around it.”
The yellow ring turned out to be the seal of a waterproof case for the camera. The battery-powered camera was the size of a ping-pong ball, the affidavit says.
When the victim told somebody in the house about the device, a telephone call was made to Holman, who returned to the house. He allegedly said he did not know how the device got in the bag.
At some point that night he apparently asked someone at the residence: “Do you think I did it as a pervert move?”
Shortly thereafter, Holman destroyed the camera by stomping on it, the court papers say. The following morning he allegedly admitted to placing the camera in the bag, saying that “he was very angry at [the victim] for the way she has acted in the past few weeks.”
Investigators learned that Holman allegedly used his department-provided laptop to view “the digital images recorded by the camera.”
The victim was apparently living at Holman’s home at the time. It was not clear if they are related.
Holman was placed on paid administrative leave by the department May 29, according to spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro. The length of the leave was indefinite pending the result of an internal investigation.
Police Chief Richard Pryor could not be reached for comment.
Holman was released about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after he posted an $11,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear at 10:30 a.m. July 20 in Pitkin County District Court. Holman, who faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted, joined the Aspen Police Department in October 2000 as a community safety officer.
Up until now, the county has been a referral agency relegated to commenting on the plan but that could change if developers plan water service extension to the site