MORRISON, Colo. — Seven women recently resigned from one of the Denver metro area’s most exclusive country clubs after one bar employee says she was sexually touched by a member without her consent.
Denver7 Investigates met with four of the former Red Rocks Country Club staff, who wanted to remain anonymous. They say their exit was prompted by the club’s inaction and failure to keep its employees safe over the course of several years.
In July, one of the women filed a report with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, resulting in a criminal complaint filed against one member. The report lays out a detailed narrative, explaining an alleged interaction between a 53-year-old member and an 18-year-old bar employee after the opening round of the club’s prestigious member-guest tournament. The entire event was captured by one of the club’s security cameras, according to the report.
Based on that video and statements from the alleged victim, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office issued a misdemeanor citation to Jason Peter Falco for alleged unlawful sexual contact.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Jenny Fulton reviewed all information related to the investigation.
“This is unlawful, it's illegal and no owner should allow illegal activities to occur at their business,” she said. “I was infuriated. It's a violation of someone's personal body and there's no consent.”
Fulton also watched the video.
“I saw exactly what is described in the report where the server is clearing off the table. She's wiping it down, the suspect comes around he puts her into a hug that she appears to be reluctant to participate in. He walks around behind her, still with his hands on her shoulder. He pushes up against her back and lowers his hand and rubs her buttocks,” Fulton said.
According to the sheriff’s report, Falco told the detective "he had been drinking heavily that night and had no recollection of the events which occurred."
“There is no excuse ever for this kind of activity. It's unlawful sexual behavior, it's unwanted sexual contact. There is no consent so then you don't do it,” Fulton said in describing the accusations against the country club member.
According to the women, this isn’t the first time employees at Red Rocks Country Club have felt unsafe. Denver7 Investigates received a copy of a five-page internal email sent out to members by the club, which outlines the ongoing problems.
“The staff's testimony, followed by written complaints from some of them, led to the initiation of our Disciplinary Action process against two additional members,” it reads.
According to the email, the two other members who were accused of inappropriate comments to staff members led to the permanent expulsion of one member and a six-month suspension for the second. Falco is also currently suspended.
“We as a board have also realized through this that there are things we need to do to improve our disciplinary action processes and procedures," the memo also read. “We deeply regret our club has to go through this, but we firmly believe we will emerge from this stronger and with values and principles that better reflect who we are."
The four women met with Denver7 Investigates and said the recent controversy is a result of the club ignoring years of various complaints. Two women provided statements that included:
“I hope justice is served for every woman who has ever been a victim of any man at RRCC. I hope this raises an awareness and a true change of culture, not only at Red Rocks, but country clubs everywhere. The members that have supported us has been overwhelming. From Gofundmes to just taking the time to give us a phone call, I can not express my gratitude with words. I truly consider Red Rocks my second home, and the people there, family. Unfortunately, I just cannot work for the board of directors at Red Rocks, where this has even been a topic of debate. I wish things were different, but all I can fight for now is change.”
“A few Fridays ago, I along with a few other staff members at Red Rocks Country Club were made aware of a sexual assault incident that happened to a female staff member while at work. The assault was inflicted by a member of the club and occurred the day before the final of a largely attended tournament. Supervisors were informed and camera evidence was collected shortly after the incident occurred. The following day being the final day the tournament, staff were shocked to find the perpetrator was allowed to continue to compete. RRCC’s board of directors decided upon letting him play in the tournament giving him the possibility of winning thousands of dollars. He was only removed from the property after competing and breaking the 3 rules given to him that day by the board. Unfortunately, at country clubs across the states women are often victims of these crimes committed by male members. This country club in particular has had multiple incidences happen with limited consequences to the assailants. After 2 meetings between the staff and the board on Friday August 4th, 7 staff members decided to walk out in protest of an unsafe and hostile working environment in hopes to force change. Many people, including a majority of the members at the club, have shown great support, including setting up a GoFundMe for those who walked out in protest. We all loved our job and felt as though we worked as a family. At the end of the day, we felt the board of directors decided against supporting and protecting its own family in order to make money for the club. Those of us protesting are hoping to change the culture and future of country clubs and make it a safe place for all women and men to work at.”
A GoFundMe account called "The Amazing Woman from RR," has raised nearly $5,000 and was created by a female member of the club. Part of the summary for the fundraiser reads, “Many of our staff members no longer felt that our club was a safe or welcoming environment because of the reprehensible conduct of a few of our members. Unfortunately, the sexual and non-sexual harassment of our staff members has become a significant issue at our club. As a result, we may have lost some amazing staff members, many of whom have been with the club for many years. These staff members now need to go without pay until they come back or secure other employment. I started this GoFundMe to help them replace some of their lost wages and tips.”
Denver7 Investigates has confirmed 32 of the 36 GoFundMe donors are women.
“As a female, it makes me proud that we're supporting each other and the woman who created the GoFundMe is supporting the victims who have been violated in this manner,” Fulton said.
Falco did not respond to requests for comment. There is no date set for his court hearing.
According to the sheriff’s office, Falco could face between six and 18 months in jail if found guilty.
Interview requests to the country club’s board and general manager were also declined. Instead, the club emailed a statement.
“Red Rocks Country Club is dedicated to providing a safe and productive work environment, free of threats to the health, safety, and wellbeing of our employees. We uphold a zero-tolerance policy for the beratement or harassment of our staff by fully investigating every complaint that is brought to management in accordance with our Club Bylaws.
We recently experienced an incident in which a member allegedly made unwanted physical contact with an employee. We took immediate action to initiate a Disciplinary Action with that member.
Through our investigation into that incident, claims of alleged inappropriate comments to staff members were filed against two additional members and they too received Disciplinary Action notices from the club.
All three members were immediately suspended from the club pending investigation of the incidents. The first member will remain suspended until further notice pending a criminal investigation. The investigations of the other two members have concluded. One has been permanently expelled from the club and the other has been suspended for 6 months. All three incidents are discreet and have been handled appropriately in accordance with our Club Bylaws."