Former Silverthorne resident pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a child
SILVERTHORNE — A former Silverthorne resident who tried to flee from child sex assault charges has pleaded guilty to a felony count of sexual exploitation of a child, according to court records.
Cesar Antonio Astorga-Moreno, 54, will be sentenced later this month after accepting a guilty plea in district court late last year, admitting guilt in a series of sex assaults on a child that took place between 2012 and 2013 in Summit County.
An investigation into Astorga-Moreno began years later in 2015, when a Summit School District employee informed a school resource officer with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office that a student had been sexually assaulted. Later that year, the victim in the case agreed to participate in a forensic interview with detectives.
During the interview, the child revealed Astorga-Moreno sexually assaulted them multiple times, along with making violent threats to stop them from telling anyone, according to police records.
Police were able to identify Astorga-Moreno and reached out to his employer in January 2016 to try and set up an interview with him. According to reports, he apparently agreed to come in and speak with officers but never arrived for the meeting and stopped answering his phone. A few days later, detectives discovered that Astorga-Moreno had also stopped going to work and was refusing to answer calls from his boss.
According to records, police determined that Astorga-Moreno likely fled the area once he learned of the accusations against him.
In October 2016, the Summit Combined Courts issued an arrest warrant for Astorga-Moreno on four felony charges of sexual assault on a child. The case sat stagnant for years until Astorga-Moreno was detained at the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton, Florida — on the Panhandle near Pensacola — in June last year. He was later extradited back to Colorado.
In December last year, Astorga-Moreno accepted a plea agreement to an added charge of sexual exploitation of a child, a class-three felony. All of the other charges in the case were dropped. District Judge Karen Romeo set bond at $100,000, along with mandatory conditions restraining Astorga-Moreno from coming into contact with anyone under the age of 18 or from visiting locations where he could possibly run into the victim. According to court documents, his bond hasn’t been posted.
Romeo ordered a presentence investigation and sex offender evaluation, and set a sentencing hearing for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 20 at the Summit County Justice Center.
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