Judge says plea in ski-rage case ‘lenient’
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – A Routt County judge has tentatively approved a plea deal reached in the case involving a Littleton man who assaulted a 16-year-old girl on the slopes of the Steamboat Ski Area in January.Randall Berg, 52, was arrested in January on suspicion of attacking and punching a 16-year-old female snowboarder who collided with Berg’s 8-year-old daughter on the ski mountain.He has agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault. If the plea is accepted, Berg will serve two days in jail, one year of unsupervised probation, take at least eight hours of anger management classes and perform 80 hours of community service.But Routt County Judge James Garrecht said he wants additional documents before he sentences Berg.”My gut reaction is that this plea is much more lenient than Mr. Berg would be entitled to,” Garrecht said at a hearing this week. “This is a very bizarre occurrence. No one should ever be assaulted on a ski slope. It’s outrageous a grown man would attack a woman. It’s even more outrageous for that woman to be a young girl.” The victim didn’t attend the hearing, but her mother did. Deputy District Attorney Tammy Jensen told Garrecht that the victim and her family agreed to the conditions of Berg’s plea. “He seems to be very remorseful,” Jensen said. “He has taken full responsibility for the charge.” Attorney Charles Feldmann, representing the victim and her family, said the family also was satisfied with the plea agreement.”(The family) is relieved to hear the apology from Mr. Berg and that he is taking responsibility for his actions,” Feldmann said.Berg’s attorney, Larry Combs, said his client had “never treated someone so badly in his life” before the incident at Steamboat Springs. “Mr. Berg has no hesitation admitting that what he did was wrong,” Combs said. “He’s been humiliated by the harm he’s caused this young lady.”Garrecht said he will make his final decision in six weeks. Berg’s next court appearance in Routt County Court is April 19.This story first appeared in the Steamboat Pilot & TodayVail, Colorado
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