Aspen yoga teacher charged with sexual assault
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado ” An Aspen yoga instructor was charged Monday with multiple felonies in connection with alleged sexual assaults that took place while he was working at a local studio.
Steven Jon Roger, 47, faces two felony counts of sexual assault, and five misdemeanors that stem from incidents between 2005 and 2008, according to a court filing.
He faces more than 10 years in state prison if convicted as charged. Roger appeared in Pitkin County District Court on Monday. He is being represented by Tamas Viski-Hanka of Denver.
Judge James Boyd ordered Roger to next appear in court at 10:30 a.m. April 6. He is free on a $7,500 bond.
Roger was arrested Jan. 8, after a number of women reported to authorities he assaulted them at O2 Aspen.
One such incident happened on “or about May 12, 2008,” according to an arrest affidavit filed with the court.
During that lesson Roger was standing behind the woman and allegedly “places his hands on her lower back” to adjust her position.
Roger then allegedly slipped his “hand down the back of the woman’s pants without her consent” and touched two body parts. That incident resulted in one of the felony counts against him.
Another alleged sexual assault occurred in April 2008.
He also stands accused of unlawful sexual contact on five occasions. The alleged incidents led to the misdemeanor counts being filed against him.
The affidavit alleges that in July 2005 Roger touched a woman’s thighs and buttocks three times with his hands and without her consent during a class. The victim also told Roger to stop “touching her during the class.”
That incident resulted in one of the misdemeanors.
Roger, who was interviewed by authorities in late November, said that in his 15 years of teaching he “never had a complaint,” the affidavit stated.
He also reportedly said in his years of teaching yoga he could not think of anyone who had a problem with him.
Roger originally faced one felony and four misdemeanor counts. But since his arrest two other women came forward to report other alleged offenses.
“We had more people come out of the woodwork,” said Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin.