High bail maintained for Fort Collins man charged with multiple sex assaults
The former Avon resident faces six charges related to two different alleged Eagle County victims he met through a dating app
Editor’s Note: This story contains brief descriptions of sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact that may be upsetting for some readers.
An Eagle County judge set stringent bail bond conditions for a former Avon resident charged with allegedly sexually assaulting two different victims using the popular dating app Tinder.
Fort Collins resident Joshua Gewirtz, 27, faces sexual assault charges in two Eagle County cases stemming from two incidents that occurred in quick succession to one another at the end of November and beginning of December last year.
For the first, Gewirtz faces two sexual assault charges — one a class 3 felony and the other a class 4, according to prosecuting attorney Amy Padden of the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
For the second incident, he faces two class 3 felonies for sexual assault, one that alleges the victim was drugged without consent and another that alleges the victim was “incapable of appraising the nature of her conduct.” He was also charged with a class 4 felony for sexual assault and possession of a controlled substance, a class 4 drug felony.
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The class 3 felony sexual assault charges each carry sentences of 4 to 12 years in prison. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Gewirtz was arrested in August and is currently being held at the Eagle County jail. His bail has been set at $25,000 for each case for a total of $50,000.
Gewirtz and his defense attorney Jesse Wiens came before Eagle County Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez Thursday to request a reduction in the bail amount.
In the hearing, Padden argued against the bail reduction due to the severity of the charges.
“We have very serious concerns about the danger that the defendant presents to the community and to women that he may interact with in the community,” Padden said.
In both cases, victims alleged that Gewirtz contacted them through the online dating app, Tinder, and then assaulted them after meeting up for a date.
The warrants issued by the District Attorney and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office alleged that these crimes are part of a “pattern of behavior,” in which Gewirtz drugs and then sexually assaults women, often choking them, according to an August press release.
The District Attorney’s Office has been made aware of two other potential victims — one in Larimer County and another in Kentucky, where Gewirtz is from.
Wiens pushed back against the drugging allegations Thursday by saying that “at least one of the victims” was tested for drugs one day after the alleged assault and “there were no drugs found in her system.”
Gewirtz’s family wants to “bring him under their wing” and would make sure that he attends all of his court appearances if he were to be released, Wiens said.
Wiens informed Judge Olguin-Fresquez that a “psycho-sexual evaluation” was done on Gewirtz in the jail.
“From a clinical perspective, they deem Mr. Gewirtz to be safe to be treated within the community were there to be a conviction for a sexual offense …” Wiens said.
The request was denied and Gewirtz’s bail was maintained at $50,000 due to “the seriousness of the allegations” and “the nature of the predator-type behavior alleged,” Judge Olguin-Fresquez said in Thursday’s hearing.
Gewirtz is only required to pay 10% of his bail amount, or $5,000, to the courts to be released from custody. In the event that this happens, Judge Olguin-Fresquez set a series of stringent conditions that Gewirtz would be required to follow.
If he were to bond out, these conditions bar Gewirtz from having contact with anyone under the age of 18 or going to locations where children are likely to be found. He is banned from picking up hitchhikers, drinking alcohol and, given the allegations, “absolutely no computer use,” Olguin-Fresquez said.
This includes any devices with internet access, including smart phones. He would be banned from using social networks and cameras with Zoom or video capacity. He also cannot possess or go to locations where there are “sexually oriented or sexually stimulating materials,” she said.
Gewirtz remained in custody as of Friday morning.
Preliminary hearings on the facts of the two cases were set to be held Thursday afternoon, but Gewirtz chose to waive his right to the hearings. Preliminary hearings force prosecuting attorneys to present enough evidence up front to show the judge that they are justified in moving forward with the case.
The two cases were remanded over to the 5th Judicial District Court to be heard by Judge Paul R. Dunkelman. Gewirtz will have his first appearance in district court on the morning of Dec. 8.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, Bright Future Foundation offers comprehensive support and advocacy. Their 24/7 hotline can be reached at 970-949-7086.
Email Kelli Duncan at email@example.com