Sheriff’s deputy accused of sex assault | VailDaily.com
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Sheriff’s deputy accused of sex assault

Eagle County Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Joseph Hay's book photo, released to the press Friday after he was booked on charges of sexual assault. He is free on $15,000 bond.
Special to the Daily |

EAGLE — An Eagle County sheriff’s deputy could face life in prison following his arrest on a sexual assault charge.

Timothy Joseph Hay was arrested Friday morning, without incident, at his home in Gypsum. He made his first court appearance at 11 a.m. on Friday, accompanied by his attorney, Mara Kleinschmidt.

Hay, 42, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a vacant warehouse office near the Eagle County Regional Airport.

Kleinschmidt said Hay, who is free on $15,000 bond, is not going to run.

“He wants to stay here and prove his innocence,” Kleinschmidt said. “We believe that under the circumstances, there is absolutely no reason for him to leave.”

Hay to get equal treatment

Heidi McCollum, assistant district attorney, said the District Attorney’s Office was asked to conduct the investigation as a neutral third party, at the request of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

She pointed out that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Hay has declined to talk to investigators, according to the arrest affidavit.

District Attorney Bruce Brown said his team has been working hard on the case for the past couple weeks, and Hay will get no special treatment.

“Mr. Hay will get no better or less treatment than anyone else similarly charged,” Brown said.

Hay has been placed on administrative leave from the Sheriff’s Office, pending the outcome of the case, said Joe Hoy, Eagle County sheriff. Hay moved to Eagle County in 1995 and joined the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office in 2003.

What police say happened

Around 7 p.m. on Sept. 18, the alleged victim and a female friend were at a restaurant and bar in Eagle, having drinks with Hay and one of his friends. The alleged victim is an acquaintance of Hay.

The woman told investigators she consumed four shots of alcohol and was also drinking beer and water. She said Hay had at least one shot, but she wasn’t certain how much he’d had to drink.

The woman told investigators that she and Hay, along with her female friend, left the bar and restaurant between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. She said they dropped off her friend and that she was driving Hay home, when he asked her to pull over at a parking lot warehouse next to the airport.

She told investigators that she and Hay were “making out” by the hood of the car, and when he tried to put his hand down her pants she told him “no.” It was then that they went into the warehouse. She said she wanted to leave but that Hay “did not like that.”

She said the next thing she remembered was waking up on the floor of an office-type area that had carpet on the floor. She said she remembers that her head hurt and Hay standing over her asking if she was OK and talking on his cell phone saying, “I killed her and she is dead.”

The alleged victim said she did not remember Hay hitting or striking her.

Hay’s friend from the bar told investigators that Hay admitted having sex with the woman and that she told him that Hay hit her.

The woman told investigators that she received a text message the next day that said, “Not sure how you feel about last night. I was worried when you fell down in the doorway. Are you OK?”

She told investigators she assumed it was from Hay, although she said she did not recognize the phone number and said she has never given him her phone number. However, investigators connected the dots and learned the text message came from a phone with Hay’s cell phone number.

During an interview on Sept. 22, four days later, the alleged victim told investigators that she now remembered Hay having his hand on the back of her head and forcing her face into the office floor. She told investigators she remembers her pants being off and kneeling down with his hand on her hair. She said he slammed her forward and she hit her face, and that blood got in her eyes and ears. When investigators examined the scene later that day, they found blood on the carpet and a bloody hand print on the wall, the arrest affidavit said.

After the alleged attack

After the alleged assault, she left the office area and drove to a male acquaintance’s house, where he tried to clean the blood from her face and hair.

She told investigators that after she left and went home, she said she felt sick and asked another of her friends to come over.

At three minutes after midnight, that person called 911. Ten minutes later, two Eagle County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and the alleged victim was transported by ambulance to the Vail Valley Medical Center, where she was examined for sexual assault and other injuries.

Friday’s court appearance

In Friday’s hearing, Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Wiard asked that Hay’s bond be set at $50,000.

“These charges are serious and the possible penalty is life. It’s a very, very serious offense,” Wiard said.

Kleinschmidt, Hay’s attorney, asked that her client be released on personal recognizance.

Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez set Hay’s bond at $15,000.

“While the court is mindful of the seriousness of the allegations, he has been here 20 years and he has significant ties to the community. He is not a flight risk at this time,” Olguin-Fresquez said.

The judge issued a protection order demanding that Hay stay away from his alleged victim and avoid alcohol and controlled substances. Hay will be tested for alcohol and drugs as part of his bond conditions.

“There are allegations that alcohol was being used that evening, at least a level of intoxication being recorded,” Wiard said. “I believe that testing for alcohol and drugs is called for.”

Prosecutors have until Oct. 14 to make their final charging decision. Hay is back in court at 1 p.m. on Oct. 15, when he is scheduled to appear before District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman.

Hay posted his bond and was released early Friday afternoon.

Based on the statute under which Hay is charged, if he is convicted, then he would be facing a minimum of four years to life in prison.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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