DA adds a sex assault specialist for Bryant case | VailDaily.com

DA adds a sex assault specialist for Bryant case

Dana Easter of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office spent part of this week in the 5th District’s Eagle office helping the staff prepare for hearings over the next two months.

“District Attorney Mark Hurlbert asked Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas for Dana Easter’s assistance, and Mr. Thomas enthusiastically agreed,” said Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Pam Russell.

Easter, a deputy district attorney, is the second special prosecutor to be added for the case. She joins Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Ingrid Bakke, also a sexual assault specialist. They are working with Hurlbert and Deputy District Attorney Gregg Crittenden.

“Mr. Thomas and other metro area district attorneys know a case like this is labor intensive and time consuming,” said Russell. “We’ve all offered to help.”

Easter helped found the 1st Judicial District Sexual Assault Team. The group helped standardize procedures in sexual assault cases. Those procedures are used by law enforcement, victim advocates and prosecutors to assess cases and provide training.

Easter also was also part of the group that developed Colorado’s rape examination kit in the early 1990s. Both the alleged victim and Bryant himself had to take the rape kit tests on July 1, the day after Bryant allegedly sexually assaulted the woman.

Aside from her work with the district attorney’s office, Easter also teaches college level courses and at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department Law Enforcement Training Academy in “Crimes Against Children and Sexual Assault.”

Easter earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1978 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, and her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder. She worked in University Hospital from 1979 to 1986, and has been a deputy district attorney since 1986.

Bryant is charged with felony sexual assault, stemming from allegation that he raped a 19-year-old Eagle woman June 30 at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. Bryant says the sex was consensual.

Bryant has been required to undergo testing for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Colorado law requires that when a sexual assault case that includes penetration, the testing is mandatory.

Bryant’s next court appearance is Dec. 19. No trial date has been set.

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