‘Sex predator’ will leave Eagle Co. jail | VailDaily.com

‘Sex predator’ will leave Eagle Co. jail

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado
Eagle County Sheriff's OfficeJason Scott Tuffo, 36, wears glasses, is 5 feet, 6 inches and is 140 pounds.

EAGLE, Colorado ” A man authorities have called a “sexually violent predator” will be released from the Eagle County jail Thursday morning.

Jason Scott Tuffo, 36, has a week ” until Feb. 13 ” to find a home. Tuffo has not found a place to live, but he will be required to tell authorities where he is living by next week, authorities said.

Authorities said more than a week ago that a “sexually violent predator” would be released from the jail. The Sheriff’s Office held meetings in Vail and Eagle to tell residents about sexually violent predators.

The Sheriff’s Office declined to release Tuffo’s name until Wednesday, when District Court Judge R. Thomas Moorhead ruled during a court hearing that Tuffo could be released.

A person is designated a “sexually violent predator” when authorities think there is a high risk the person will commit another sex crime.

Prosecutors wanted to keep Tuffo in jail until he found a place to live, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said.

If Tuffo has not found a home by Wednesday, prosecutors will ask that Tuffo be sent back to jail, Hurlbert said.

“Ultimately, it’s up to the judge,” Hurlbert said.

Tuffo was arrested Dec. 19, 2005, after a girl reported that Tuffo grabbed her neck, hit her nose with his wrist watch and put her in a head lock, according to an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office report.

The girl said that she had been having sex and had been in an “intimate relationship” with Tuffo for a month, the report says.

The girl, whose name is being withheld, had moved out of her grandmother’s home and lived with Tuffo in his Gypsum home for several weeks before the incident, said Dana Christiansen, Tuffo’s defense attorney.

Tuffo eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of “sexual assault with a ten-year age difference” and assault, both misdemeanors.

In 2006, Tuffo pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender, a felony.

Tuffo does not fit the guidelines for a sexually violent predator, Christiansen said in court.

Tuffo has had “multiple victims” and therefore qualified for the label, Assistant District Attorney Karen Romeo said. Moorhead ruled in her favor.

Besides Tuffo’s convictions in Eagle County, it’s unclear exactly what other offenses Romeo was referring to. Authorities either declined comment or said they did not know about the offenses.

Tuffo will be supervised and will be outfitted with a device to track his movements, the Sheriff’s Office said.

If Tuffo decides to live somewhere in Eagle County, the Sheriff’s Office will hold a meeting to tell residents about him, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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