Deputy who used Taser on Leadville kids charged with child abuse |

Deputy who used Taser on Leadville kids charged with child abuse

Yesenia Robles
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has charged a former Lake County sheriff’s deputy after a Taser was demonstrated on 34 Leadville High School students at a career fair April 8.

Deputy John Ortega resigned last week after he returned from a week on unpaid suspension.

Ortega is charged with 11 misdemeanor counts of child abuse causing injury, one count of child abuse causing no injury and nine counts of reckless endangerment. In total, Ortega could face up to 27 1/2 years in jail. All the time would be served in county jail.

“We take this very seriously. He’s an adult, and he should not be Tasering kids,” Hurlbert said Wednesday.

Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte said students asked Ortega to use the Taser on them, but he declined.

When the students told Ortega they were willing to sign release forms, Ortega “foolishly agreed,” Holte said.

Each count is related to one of the students who was shocked by the Taser. Some of the students decided not to press charges, Hurlbert said.

Ortega, who joined the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 2008, used the Taser – a weapon that delivers an electric shock – on the students’ legs using the “drive-stun technique.”


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