Brief update on the “Graspin’ Aspen” case for those following at home. The judge has rejected a plea a week before the case would go to trial…
Steven Jon Roger, 48, was poised to plead no contest to two misdemeanor charges and avoid going to a jury trial next week in Pitkin County Court.
But Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely said she could not accept the plea deal that stipulated Roger get a two-year deferred judgment, and spend two years on unsupervised probation and the state’s sex offender registry. The deal had been reached between prosecutor Richard Nedlin and Tamas Viski-Hanka, Roger’s Denver-based attorney.
Now the trial is on hold so that Viski-Hanka can entertain the judge’s recommendation that Roger undergo a pre-sentence investigation and a psycho-sexual evaluation. The judge also said she was open to other ideas to settle the case, and added she wants to see the alleged victims feel justice has been served with whatever disposition is reached, provided the case settles.
Fernandez-Ely was partially persuaded to reject the plea agreement after she received a letter Monday from one of the alleged victims, who wants Roger registered on the sex offender list for the rest of his life. The judge read aloud the letter from the alleged victim, who wrote that she “will be haunted by [Roger’s] memories for years to come.”
We don’t know what happened and who’s guilty here, and obviously Mr. Roger is none too pleased about his association to “sex offender”, but we have a feeling he’s not getting off the hook so easily. Sure the limelight sucks when it’s shameful and damning, but for rest of us this case brings up a topic needing discussion!
we repeat, from our earlier update:
…*shuffles to podium*
If you feel you are a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault by a yoga teacher or fellow student, speak up! It’s wrong and no one should have to put up with it.
And yoga teachers should know better. If you need a refresher, don’t do this.
more updates as they come.
Earlier…Update: Graspin’ Aspen Yoga Teacher Prepares for Trial Over Sexual Contact