Silverthorne sexual assault suspect charged with cheating on urine test, attempting to bribe public servant

Justin Erwin
Special to the Daily

Justin Cayce Erwin, a key figure implicated in a 2016 St. Patrick’s Day sexual assault case, was taken into custody at the Summit County Justice Center on Monday after allegedly attempting to bribe a public servant, resulting in the revocation of bonds in several ongoing cases.

Erwin, 42, visited GEO Reentry Services in Frisco on Nov. 9 to take a court ordered urine test as part of his bond conditions for a number of cases, according to court documents. Erwin went to the restroom with a GEO employee who noticed that he started to urinate prior to pulling down his pants. Upon inspection, the employee allegedly discovered a tube protruding from the top of Erwin’s boxers. The device, known as a “Whizzinator,” is a synthetic urine device sometimes used in attempts to cheat urine tests.

According to court documents, Erwin then attempted to bribe the employee by offering them $100 to overlook the device. The employee, who reported Erwin to the director of GEO, told police that Erwin asked if they could talk in private following the flubbed test. Erwin allegedly told the employee that he didn’t want to get into trouble for providing a “dirty” test, before leaving with the Whizzinator.

An officer with the Frisco Police Department arrived to investigate the incident shortly after, where he received written statements from the employee who administered Erwin’s test, along with another employee who witnessed parts of the incident. The officer was unable to make contact with Erwin, and an arrest warrant was filed on Nov. 14.

Erwin was charged with two felony counts of attempting to influence a public servant as a result of the alleged use of the Whizzinator and the attempt to bribe the GEO employee. Additionally, he was charged with three counts of violation of bail bond conditions.

At the time of his most recent arrest, Erwin was on bond for three cases stemming from incidents between 2016–18. The first and most notable case is a 2016 incident resulting in Erwin being accused of sexually assaulting a woman too inebriated to consent on St. Patrick’s Day in 2016. Erwin went to trial on the case in July, and was partially exonerated. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on 11 of 20 counts, but couldn’t come to a decision on the other nine counts and a mistrial was declared. He’s expected to return to court in January to set a new date for a second trial.

He was also on bond for an incident in 2017 when he was pulled over while driving under restraint, operating an unregistered low power scooter, failing to provide compulsory insurance and violation of bail bond conditions. At the hearing, Erwin pleaded not guilty to all counts stemming from that case. Finally, he was on bond for a DUI in 2016, to which he pleaded guilty.

As a result of the alleged Whizzinator incident, the district attorney’s office motioned to have Erwin’s bonds revoked last month. At the hearing on Monday, Judge Mark Thompson chose to revoke Erwin’s bond in connection to the 2017 incident, setting a new bond at $100,000 cash. Additionally, Thompson set a $2,500 bond for another ongoing case from 2016 in which Erwin was arrested on charges of criminal impersonation, driving under restraint and violation of bail bond conditions after lying to a sheriff’s deputy about his identify after being pulled over.

In his ruling, Thompson harshly admonished Erwin.

“It’s one thing to blow a drug test, and it’s altogether different to try and defraud it,” said Thompson. “This man has zero respect for this institution. … He’s actively out in the community, driving under restraint and willfully defrauding the court.”

But the day was just getting started for Erwin. Following the hearing with Thompson, he moved over to traffic court, where three more outstanding cases awaited him, including two DUI charges from 2014 and 2015, which were reopened as a result of probation violations in 2017, along with the aforementioned 2016 DUI. Judge Edward Casias revoked Erwin’s bonds on all three cases and set new $3,000 bonds on each case.

Erwin was placed into custody following his hearings. He’s scheduled to make an appearance on bond for the Whizzinator incident on Dec. 12, and will head to Clear Creek County about a month later on Jan. 10 to set a new trial for the sexual assault case.

He’ll then head back to court in Summit County two weeks later for disposition and sentencing on the DUI cases and the 2016 criminal impersonation case, before heading to trial on March 27 for the unregistered scooter incident last year.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.