D.A.: Man imprisoned for coming to Eagle Co court drunk
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado ” A sex offender who showed up to court drunk after he violated terms of his probation was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said.
Zachariah T. Frease, 28, was ordered not to drink alcohol after he was sentenced in connection with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in September in Eagle County, authorities said. Frease had consensual sex with the girl, authorities have said.
Frease had pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a person 15 years of age, a felony, and unlawful sexual contact, a misdemeanor, as a part of a plea agreement, Hurlbert said. Frease was sentenced to four years of sex offender probation and was required to register as a sex offender after that, Hurlbert said.
But when authorities complained that Frease was violating his probation by drinking, Frease was ordered to appear in court June 4. He showed up drunk and was convicted on the felony and misdemeanor charges, Hurlbert.
Had Frease successfully completed his probation, the misdemeanor sex offense would have stuck but the felony would have been dismissed, Hurlbert said.
“He got his chance,” Hurlbert said.
Dana Christiansen, a public defender listed on a court document as Frease’s attorney, did not immediately return a phone call requesting comment Wednesday afternoon.
When he was arrested last year, Frease denied having sex with the girl, according to an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office report written by Deputy David Proctor. On Sept. 3, Frease said he was sleeping in his clothes next to the girl, who was his friend, the report says.
Frease had been fishing and drinking that day and woke up to the girl’s father beating him. The father, whose name is being withheld to protect his daughter’s identity, was ticketed for misdemeanor third-degree assault, Spokeswoman Kim Andree of the Sheriff’s Office has said.
A woman saw Frease and the girl naked in bed through a window of a home and called the girl’s parents and the police, the report says. The girl said she and Frease had sex and that she was not threatened, forced or coerced, Andree has said.
A person can be charged with sexual assault if the victim is less than 15 years old, and the suspect is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse, according to Colorado law.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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