Former deputy faces trial for alleged sexual assault
EAGLE — A former Eagle County sheriff’s deputy will face trial on three counts of sexual assault, a District Court judge ruled Thursday.
Timothy Joseph Hay, 42, was so incapacitated that he had to be helped from an Eagle bar by two women, one of whom later accused him of raping her, according to testimony in Thursday’s preliminary hearing.
That woman could have driven Hay to his home, less than a mile from the bar in Eagle, but drove the second woman home to Gypsum, and then drove Hay and herself back to a warehouse office halfway between Eagle and Gypsum along U.S. Highway 6, Hay’s attorney, Lawson Wills, said.
That office floor is where she says Hay sexually assaulted her. Hay’s attorney, Lawson Wills, says the sex was consensual. Hay has pleaded not guilty.
District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman ruled Thursday afternoon that a jury will decide.
“A preliminary hearing is a screening device. It is not an actual trial,” Dunkelman said.
Preliminary hearings are held to determine if enough evidence exists to take a case to trial. Only limited evidence is presented by prosecutors, and defense attorneys attempt to refute that evidence.
Much more evidence, from both the prosecution and defense, will be presented during a five-day trial that is scheduled to begin March 30. If Hay is convicted, then he faces up to life in prison.
Andre Shy testified that he and Hay played golf on Sept. 18, the day of the event. When they finished, they went into the clubhouse restaurant/bar, where Hay had two drinks, Shy said.
“This happened in September and it is now December. There is not a day that it doesn’t go through my mind because it has turned my life upside down. I hear people talk about it like they were there,” Shy said.
Shy testified that both Hay and the alleged victim are acquaintances. The alleged victim was at the opposite end of the bar when he and Hay sat down, and moved down to where they were sitting, Shy said. He and Hay left the bar shortly afterward, and went to the bowling alley where Shy bowls in a Thursday night league.
About 15 minutes after they arrived at the bowling alley, the alleged victim showed up with one of her friends, Shy said.
“That was a surprise to you that they showed up?” Wills asked.
“Yes, to me it was,” Shy said.
Shy said he went back and forth seven or eight times from the bowling area and the bar area to check on them.
Shy said the last time he checked on Hay, after one beer and a shot, Hay’s condition had deteriorated rapidly.
“I had never seen him in the manner I saw him that night. He was unable to do anything,” Shy said.
Shy told them he would take Hay home when he was done bowling — in about 30 minutes — but the alleged victim and her friend were already on their way out of the bar with him.
“The only reason he left the bar that night (with them) was that they were literally carrying him arm in arm,” Shy said.
He said they left the bar at about 9:30 p.m. and Hay called about two hours later saying he needed some help and a ride. Hay said the alleged victim was “unresponsive” and she might be dead, Shy said.
“I asked him what he was talking about,” Shy said.
Shy said Hay was not incoherent, but it was apparent he had been drinking.
Shy quickly drove the five minutes from his home to the warehouse and said he saw the alleged victim “stagger” across the parking lot and get into her car.
Shy approached her driver’s side window and asked, “Are you all right?”
She responded, “Yes,” Shy said.
Shy offered to give her a ride home, and when she turned toward him he said he could smell alcohol and saw the cut on the bridge of her nose. He asked how she got it, and she said she ran into a door. She also said Hay had hit her.
Shy told her she should not be driving and asked if he could give her a ride home.
She drove off before Hay came out.
During Thursday’s hearing, Shy and others testified that she said, “He hit me.” Shy said she might have also told him, “It hit me,” speaking of the door.
‘I think I killed her’
During the investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, the alleged victim 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 told investigators she remembered her pants being off, and her head snapping back, although she did not remember why or how. She said Hay held her down from the back of her neck, and her face was slammed into a wall. She told investigators the next thing she remembered was regaining consciousness and Hay asking her if she was OK. She said after that the next thing she remembered was him standing over her talking on a cell phone and saying, “I think I killed her.”
A different friend of the alleged victim phoned for help. Sgt. George Dow with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office responded to find the alleged victim on her bathroom floor, unresponsive to his questions. She eventually told Dow she was assaulted by Hay, saying “he’s one of yours.”
Later that night, the alleged victim was taken to the Vail Valley Medical Center where she asked for a sex assault examination. The Vail hospital doesn’t do that procedure and she was told she would have to go to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Frisco, which has a sexual assault nurse examiner on staff.
When the alleged victim learned she’d have to go to Frisco, she ripped the IV out of her arm and said she wanted to go home, Dow said.
“I don’t want to do that. I just want to go home,” Dow said she told him.
Dow said he waited outside the room until the alleged victim was released, and took her to her home in Gypsum.
Four days later, the alleged victim was examined by the sexual assault nurse examiner, Jennifer McConnell, with St. Anthony’s in Frisco.
McConnell said the state crime lab suggests exams within 72 hours, but she’d do an examination five years later if she thought it was necessary.
McConnell said the alleged victim told her Hay hit her in the face, held her down by her head, and during the event was forced into a wall and hit her face. The alleged victim had rug burns on her knees and back, and genital injuries consistent with sexual assault.
Prosecutor Brian Daggett argued that the alleged victim’s injuries were serious enough to keep her from returning to work until recently. He told the judge that her “fragmented” story indicates someone who was remembering bits and pieces, which would indicate someone who was rendered unconscious.
Wills, Hay’s attorney, argued that the alleged victim was not unconscious during the sex, and disagreed that rug burns on her knees and back mean the sex was not consensual.
“To say she was physically helpless is completely erroneous. Every indication was that she drove there willingly and voluntarily,” Wills said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com.