Conversations about sex assault needed to help others, local advocates say

Michelle Johnson spent one of the last days of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, every April, stopping by businesses on Durango’s Main Avenue in an effort to spread awareness about the issue. “You...

DATE: May 5, 2021 | CATEGORY: Local News

La Plata County man gets prison for violating sexual assault probation

A 52-year-old La Plata County man was sentenced Thursday to seven years to life in prison for committing a second sex offense while on probation for a previous sexual assault. Vance Lee Valencia...

DATE: April 15, 2021 | CATEGORY: Local News

After 26 years, Cmdr. Rita Warfield hangs up her badge

Durango Police Cmdr. Rita Warfield, one of the city’s longest tenured police officers who championed retraining on domestic violence and sexual assault, will hang up her badge and gun after a...

DATE: March 22, 2021 | CATEGORY: Local News

Durango man sentenced for 2017 sexual assault

A 21-year-old Durango man accused of sexual assault on a woman involving a shotgun with two other men in October 2017 was sentenced Friday to three years of community corrections. James Thomas Zink...

DATE: Jan. 22, 2021 | CATEGORY: Local News

Durango church leader accused of molesting young men avoids jail

A former Durango church youth leader who pleaded guilty to sexually molesting four young adults avoided jail time Tuesday and was instead given four years’ probation, sending a court hearing into...

DATE: Jan. 12, 2021 | CATEGORY: Local News

Police say man accused of sexual assault may have used date rape drug

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after allegedly raping a woman in Durango. Durango Police Department Cmdr. Rita Warfield said Jordan Tyler Benjamin was arrested...

DATE: Nov. 18, 2020 | CATEGORY: Local News

Former Durango church youth leader pleads guilty in sex assault case

A former Durango church youth leader pleaded guilty Tuesday to four counts of unlawful sexual contact and now faces up to 60 days in jail after victims came forward alleging the church leader...

DATE: Nov. 10, 2020 | CATEGORY: Local News

Charges dropped against Pagosa Springs man accused of sex assault on a child

After two mistrials, a Pagosa Springs man who was accused of sex assault on a child will not face a third trial after his case was officially dismissed Friday. Rodney Keller, 54, was arrested June,...

DATE: Nov. 6, 2020 | CATEGORY: Local News

Durango man faces up to six years in prison for alleged 2017 sex assault

A 21-year-old Durango man accused of sexual assault involving a shotgun pleaded guilty Friday to felony menacing, a Class 5 felony, and now faces up to six years in the Department of Corrections....

DATE: Oct. 9, 2020 | CATEGORY: Local News

Judge rejects plea agreement for man suspected of flashing Durango gas station attendant

A plea agreement that required no jail time for a man who exposed his genitals to a female gas station attendant for several minutes was rejected Tuesday by La Plata County Court Judge Dondi...

DATE: Sept. 29, 2020 | CATEGORY: Local News

Fort Lewis College student arrested on suspicion of sexual assault

An 18-year-old Fort Lewis College student was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault this week after authorities say he forced a female student to have sex. According to an arrest affidavit, the...

DATE: Sept. 11, 2020 | CATEGORY: Local News

Former Southern Ute executive pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

McKean Walton, former executive officer with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple felony charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of a minor. Walton, 51 of...

DATE: Sept. 10, 2020 | CATEGORY: Local News

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