Vail bar encounter results in sex assault charges
November 2, 2016
VAIL — A happy hour drinking binge ended with a sexual encounter that the accuser told police, more than a week later, was sexual assault.
According to police reports, the incident happened on Sept. 29. The accuser reported it to Vail police on Oct. 7 after speaking with a potential witness.
Local defense attorney Jesse Wiens represents one of the accused men.
"Everyone in our criminal system is innocent until proven guilty," Wiens said.
About 7:45 p.m., Sept. 29, the accuser met Lewis Ransom, 27, Michael Martin, 31, and Austin Noska, 19, on a town of Vail bus headed into Vail Village, according to the arrest affidavit.
They went to a Vail Village bar where another man was buying drinks for the group, "taking full advantage of happy hour," the affidavit said.
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Video of the bus ride from Vail Village back to Lionshead Village shows kissing and groping between the men and their accuser, on the rear seat of the bus, the arrest affidavit said.
Everyone was unsteady on their feet when getting off the bus, and the accuser is heard to say, "I'm great," the arrest affidavit said.
Vail police say video shows that, while they were in the elevator, one of the men was holding the woman's wrists and another kissing her.
During questioning on Oct. 7, the teenaged male told police he said to the accuser, "You never said stop or anything. If you had said stop, I would have stopped. But that's not what happened."
Prosecutors said the woman was unable to give her consent. The arrest affidavit says all the men had sex with her.
The men are charged with sexual assault. Eagle County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan set their bond at $100,000. They were back in court on Wednesday.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.