Former student talks about sex assault case |

Former student talks about sex assault case

Veronica Whitney

EAGLE – Two girls said he raped them. He said it was consensual. In the end, after spending six months in a juvenile detention center, the former Battle Mountain High School student said he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two classmates in 2003 because he lost faith in the legal system. “There was sex, but I believe it was consensual. Definitely,” said the 18-year-old who was sentenced Monday to two years probation. “And I believe it was also consensual for the girls. They never said ‘No.'”In August, the man, whose named is being withheld because he was a juvenile when the crimes occurred, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl in June 2003 and another in October 2003. In her testimony, one of the victims, now 17, accused the boy of sexual assaulting her at her Eagle-Vail home in June 2003. She testified she and the boy were listening to music in her room when he forced her to have sex. The second victim didn’t appear in court, but a friend, who said she was with the girl the day the second sexual assault occurred, testified in court. The friend said she, the victim and another boyfriend were at the man’s house in Wildridge when the assault happened. “I don’t believe I raped them, it wasn’t my intention,” the man said. “I may have gone wrong about some things.”Lost faith But maybe the biggest disappointment to the man wasn’t how the girls reacted, but the legal system.”I felt betrayed by what I can call my country now,” said the man, who was born in Slovakia and came to the United States with his parents in 1998. “But you have to go along with the punches of life.”When asked if he would pleaded guilty plea if he hadn’t been in jail, the man said no. “I would have not. It was the time in jail,” he said. “They didn’t have any evidence.”When the man pleaded guilty, former Deputy District Attorney Arly Miner said she didn’t have a great case or evidence because the two women reported the case late – more than a year later in both cases. However, she also said the man behaved similarly in both assaults, which “made the case very strong.”But the man said he “was 99 percent confident” had the case gone to trial, the jury would have found him innocent. “But you never know,” he said. “Just like I ended up in jail for doing something that I thought it was right – I didn’t want to take a chance. But that’s the way the laws work in this country and I’ll just have to abide by my probation rules.”The man’s stepfather said he’s also disheartened with the legal system. After spending about $20,000 in attorney’s fees, and moving to Las Vegas with his wife and 6-year-old daughter, the family received another blow Monday, he said. A last-minute change to the plea condition stipulates that his stepson can’t have contact with his 6-year-old sister until a counselor says it’s OK.”I feel they screw him. They screw my family,” said the stepfatherDating womenBut there’s a potential upside to what happened, the man said.”I’m going to study law. I’d like to help people who get in a situation like myself,” said the man, who finished his high school degree in jail. “I’d like to be one of those people who help people out. There’s a lot of unfairness.”But I would like to thank my parents and friends for being behind me all the way and believing in me,” he added. “Even one friend of the two girls (victims) was behind me all the way.”One of the hardest parts ahead will be not to be able to see his sister, he said. “When I was in jail, that’s all she talked about,” he said. “It makes me sad.”When asked if he will be afraid of dating women now, he smiled and thought for a moment.”That’s very possible,” he said.Vail, Colorado

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