Prosecutors will retry a Pagosa Springs man who is accused of sexually assaulting a child last year in Bayfield after jurors last week could not come to a unanimous decision about guilt or innocence, resulting in a mistrial.
6th Judicial District Attorney Christian Champagne said the new trial date is scheduled to start Jan. 21 and is expected to last about six days.
Champagne said he could not comment further because it is an open case.
Keller, 53, is accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in June 2018 while staying at the home of a mutual friend of Keller’s ex-girlfriend.
In a trial last week, Keller’s defense attorneys, Kenneth Pace and Heather Little, said the child was making the story up for more attention.
Prosecutors, however, said there is more than enough evidence to convict Keller, and pointed to his history of sexually abusing children.
According to authorities, Keller was a registered sex offender. He was arrested in the Albertsons parking lot after being recognized on “America’s Most Wanted” for sexual assault on a child in 2008, a charge to which he pleaded guilty.
During the course of the trial, jurors heard from the 2008 victim, who was also 8 years old at the time, as well as another victim who says Keller sexually assaulted her in 2007 when she was 6 years old.
Jurors went into deliberation for about a day before informing the court they could not reach a unanimous decision on whether Keller committed the crime.
Keller’s defense attorneys did not immediately return a phone call Thursday seeking comment.