Sexual misconduct charges against former Copper Mountain maintenance worker dismissed on eve of re-trial
Prosecutors dismissed misdemeanor sexual misconduct charges against 38-year-old Charles Rochon on Monday, June 19, the day before a second jury trial was scheduled to begin. The first trial ended in early April with a hung jury, although Rochon was acquitted on evidence tampering charges.
The development clears Rochon of wrongdoing during a sexual encounter at Copper Mountain employee housing on the night of Dec. 29, 2014. Rochon’s accuser was highly intoxicated and could not remember the encounter, but she said that he had sex with her the next morning in his room when she was barely conscious.
During trial in April, prosecutors argued that the accuser was incapable of giving consent during the encounter because she was extremely impaired. The defense, however, argued that Rochon is not a “mind reader” and that the accuser never indicated that the encounter wasn’t consensual.
“Everything in this case points to a man who thought what he was doing that morning was understood to be consensual, was understood to be wanted,” attorney Thea Reiff told the jurors.
Prosecutor Lisa Hunt, who argued the case on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office, could not be reached for comment on Monday. The motion to dismiss filed by the DA’s office did not cite specific reasons but said the people “were unable to proceed,” an attorney with the public defender’s office confirmed.
District Attorney Bruce Brown could not immediately be reached for comment Monday afternoon but told the Summit Daily in April that intoxication seriously complicates trials involving questions of consent.
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