Local student charged with rape | VailDaily.com

Local student charged with rape

Veronica Whitney

EAGLE – Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Battle Mountain High School senior with two counts of sexual assault.The 17-year-old student, whose identity is being withheld, will remain in custody until his next hearing on March 16, District Judge Richard Hart ruled during the student’s arraignment in an Eagle County courtroom.The judge’s decision to deny bond came after the recommendation of Rick Salazar of Eagle County’s probation department.”The family is willing to do everything they can to let him come home, but at this point we don’t feel comfortable in letting (him) come home because of the type of charges,” Salazar said. “We need to do further investigation.”Hart also kept a restraining order in place, which prohibits the accused student from approaching the two alleged victims or any witnesses. The suspect is also barred from local schools and from having contact with any person under 18.The student, who lives with his family in Wildridge, has been held without bail at a juvenile detention center in Denver since Feb. 24, when Avon Police arrested him for allegedly raping two 16-year-old girls.The sexual assaults allegedly happened in June 2003 in Eagle-Vail and in October in Wildridge, police said.After reviewing the case, prosecutors decided to charge the teenager as a juvenile and not as an adult. If convicted on the felony sexual assault charges, the boy could be sentenced to two years in a juvenile detention facility, said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.If he had been charged and convicted as an adult, he could have been sentenced to as much as life in prison.Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or vwhitney@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado

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