Second trial set in Aspen sexual assault case
ASPEN – A Carbondale man will stand for a second jury trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman three times outside of Aspen’s Centennial Apartments complex in January 2009.
On Monday in Pitkin County District Court, Judge Gail Nichols set the trial for June 14-28, after Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin announced his plans to retry Emanuel Gonzalez-Loujun, 22.
The trial will come after a Pitkin County jury voted 9-3 last month for the acquittal of Gonzalez-Loujun on sexual assault and kidnapping charges. Jurors convicted him of two other felony charges – possession of cocaine, and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. He was also found guilty of resisting arrest.
He has yet to be sentenced for those convictions and will be arraigned May 25 for allegedly violating parole, on which he was placed in 2007 for a felony theft conviction.
Mordkin told Nichols, who was filling in for the vacationing Judge James Boyd, that he would call on new witnesses, likely of the expert variety, to testify. Mordkin and Gonzalez-Loujun’s attorneys, public defenders Tina Fang and Stephen McCrohan, also noted their intentions to file new motions to the case.
Fang asked that the court send out more jury summonses for the upcoming trial, “so we don’t have to go through what we did last time.”
On the first day of jury selection for last month’s trial, just 45 of the 250 jury candidates appeared for duty. The next day, jurors who were summonsed to a civil trial, which was canceled, were put into the jury pool for the Gonzalez-Loujun trial.
It took three days to seat a 12-member jury and two alternates for the trial.
Gonzalez-Loujun faces 16 year to life in prison if convicted of the sexual assault charge. The kidnapping allegation carries a potential sentence of 16 to 48 years.
Prosecutors allege that he followed a woman home from a bus stop at the Centennial complex shortly before 2 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2009, and dragged her to various locations, including a snowbank outside her apartment, where he was accused of sexually assaulting her. In last month’s trial, the victim testified that he said he would kill himself with a gun if she didn’t comply with his demands, and that she was afraid for her own life.
The defense, however, has argued that police conducted a shoddy investigation, and that the alleged victim had consented to having sex with the suspect.