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Aspen yoga teacher facing 10 years if convicted

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
whaupt@aspentimes.com
Aspen CO, Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado ” An Aspen, Colorado yoga instructor made his first court appearance Monday after he was arrested in connection with an alleged sexual assault that happened while he was teaching a class at a local studio.

Steven Jon Roger, 47, faces one felony count of sexual assault, and four misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact from alleged incidents during the last three years, a court filing showed.

If convicted, he faces more than 10 years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines.

Each incident involved different women with all of the alleged offenses taking place at O2 Aspen, according to documents filed with the court.

The alleged sexual assault took place in May.

Roger was advised of the alleged offenses in Pitkin County District Court. He appeared before Judge James Boyd, who set a subsequent hearing at 10:30 a.m., March 2.

Deputy District Attorney Arnold P. Mordkin said he anticipates filing charges no later than March 2. Roger was arrested about 6:45 p.m. Thursday by Aspen police, and later released on $7,500 bond.

In other court matters, Victor Gonzalez Rodriguez, 42, was sentenced to four years of supervised probation Monday as part of a plea agreement. He pleaded guilty in October to attempt of unlawful sexual contact ” a class four felony.

Gonzalez-Rodriguez, who has a hold from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would have his probation status shifted to “unsupervised” should he be deported before the term expires.

He is a native of Mexico, but has lived in Aspen for the last 13 years.

Gonzalez-Rodriguez was arrested Aug. 18, a day after he allegedly detained a woman who was visiting a male friend at an Aspen apartment complex.

The woman, who had been drinking with her friend Aug. 16, said she was going out in the early morning hours of Aug. 17 and left the apartment, though it was not clear why, according to police at the time.

A few minutes later, her friend became concerned and went looking for the woman. He said he heard cries of, “No, No!” coming from a nearby apartment. The man entered the apartment unit, where he said that he saw Rodriguez-Gonzalez trying to take advantage of the woman.

Police were called to the scene about 2:50 a.m. The following day, Aug. 18, Rodriguez-Gonzalez was arrested and booked on false imprisonment and attempt of unlawful sexual contact.

He has been locked up since the arrest at the Pitkin County jail, where he is being held on $3,000 bond.

Also, the district attorney’s office filed two counts Monday against Daniel Rave-Munoz for alleged bond and restraining order violations that stemmed from a domestic dispute at a local hotel.

He was taken into custody Jan. 5 at the Aspen Police Department, a short while after he went to report a missing passport. An officer reportedly detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage on the breath of Rave-Munoz, authorities said.

He was then arrested, and booked into the jail. The conditions of his bond and restraining order forbid Rave-Munoz, 21, from consuming alcohol.

Boyd set a Feb. 9 preliminary hearing in the latest case.

Rave-Munoz was arrested in July after he was involved in a scuffle with his girlfriend inside the Grand Hyatt Aspen. The district attorney’s office charged him with eight counts ranging from first-degree burglary to false imprisonment.

He later pleaded guilty in November to lesser misdemeanor counts. In exchange, he was to be sentenced to probation Dec. 15.

Rave-Munoz also had to complete domestic violence classes prior to the Dec. 15, court hearing.

But he did not show up for the Dec. 15 sentencing. That led Senior District Court Judge Thomas W. Ossola double his bail in that case to $60,000 from $30,000. One day later, Rave-Munoz turned himself in at the Pitkin County jail.

Boyd later reduced the bond amount to $30,000.

The plea agreement appears to be in jeopardy, as Mordkin suggested Monday that he is likely to file a motion in the next couple of weeks to withdraw the deal.

whaupt@aspentimes.com


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