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Teen arrested in August sex assault

Sandoval

By Shane Benjamin Herald staff writer

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a mid-August home invasion and a sexual assault in Durango.

Aaron Sandoval, who lived on 32nd Street in north Durango, was being held Wednesday at the Robert E. DeNier Youth Services Center on suspicion of burglary and sexual assault, both felonies, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the city of Durango.

Detectives issued an arrest warrant for Sandoval and served the warrant Tuesday afternoon at the DeNier center, where he was being held on other charges. Sandoval’s bond was set at $250,000. Police did not release his earlier charges, and efforts to reach an official at DeNier were unsuccessful Wednesday night.

The assault occurred early Aug. 14 in the area of 30th Street and West Second Avenue. Sandoval is accused of forcibly entering the home of a 20-year-old woman and sexually assaulting her while armed with a screwdriver.

The woman told police she was asleep and awoke to find Sandoval straddling her as she lay in bed in her bedroom. The woman asked how he got into her house, and Sandoval said he gained access through a window, according to an arrest affidavit.

Sandoval forced the woman to have intercourse, during which he wore a condom. The condom was left in the bedroom at the foot of the bed.

Police collected the condom as evidence and sent it to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for DNA analysis. A DNA profile was returned that matched Sandoval, according to the release and the affidavit.

Detectives believe Sandoval also is responsible for several incidents involving window peeping and tampering with window screens in the general vicinity.

The Durango Police Department thanked all residents who responded to the initial news release and provided tips.

Police identified Sandoval as a suspect early in the investigation, but they didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest, said Lt. Ray Shupe with the Durango Police Department.

Sandoval was on probation for an earlier juvenile offense, and police tried unsuccessfully to require him to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, he said.

He eventually was arrested and sent to the juvenile detention center on an unrelated crime, Shupe said.

“We were watching him pretty close,” Shupe said.

shane@durangoherald.com

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