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17-year-old arrested in connection to University Hill burglaries, sexual contacts

Suspect was on probation for 2021 indecent exposure conviction
University Hill suspect_Boulder Police Department
Posted at 7:27 PM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-10 00:16:57-04

BOULDER, Colo.  — A 17-year-old male was arrested in connection to a series of burglaries and sexual contacts in Boulder's University Hill neighborhood over Labor Day weekend.

The Boulder Police Department, along with Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty, announced the arrest during a press conference Friday evening.

"We're here today to tell you there's no longer a threat to the community," Dougherty said.

17-year-old arrested in connection to University Hill burglaries, sexual contacts

According to police, the first incident happened on Saturday around 3:45 a.m. along the 1100 block of 11th Street. The suspect walked into an apartment through an unlocked front door. A victim woke up to the suspect "committing a lewd act near her," police said. The suspect fled afterward.

The following morning around 5:40 a.m. along the 1000 block of Pleasant Street, the suspect entered another apartment. Police said they are not sure how he got into the unit, but the front door and windows were open. The victim in this incident also woke up to the suspect committing a lewd act near her.

Later, the victim noticed her car keys and vehicle had been stolen. A victim from the same location also reported her car keys had been stolen, police said.

A third incident happened shortly after 6 a.m. on Monday, also along the 1000 block of Pleasant Street. Police said the suspect entered a basement-level apartment through an unlocked window and a victim woke up to the suspect sexually touching her. The suspect went into another bedroom, where a second victim confronted him.

During the investigation, detectives found similarities between this case and a December 2021 case involving indecent exposure. A 16-year-old juvenile male faced seven counts of indecent exposure after victims reported he was looking into their homes while committing a lewd act outside, according to Boulder police. He plead guilty to indecent exposure and was evaluated by doctors who specialize in working with sex offenders, who determined he was "amenable to treatment," Dougherty said.

The juvenile was placed on juvenile sex offender probation, which includes treatment, supervision by both his parents and Boulder County Probation, and a curfew, Dougherty explained.

Detectives determined the juvenile, now 17, was likely connected to the Labor Day weekend incidents and placed him under surveillance, according to Boulder Deputy Chief Steve Redfearn. Thursday evening, he was arrested at his home in east Boulder for violating the terms of his probation. At the same time, detectives executed a search warrant at his home and found evidence linking him to the most recent incidents, Redfearn said.

Friday afternoon, the juvenile was charged with several crimes related to the Labor Day weekend incidents. He is being held in a juvenile detention facility without bond. The charges include three counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of indecent exposure, one count of attempted invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, one count of unlawful sexual contact and one count of aggravated motor vehicle theft.

CU Boulder student Addie told Denver7's CB Cotton she lives in one of the homes the suspect broke into.

"He was in our house, I heard his voice," she said. "My friend, she was kind of in and out of sleep and then he ended up masturbating in her face. And at that point, she had really woken up and she held up her phone and said, "If you don’t leave right now, I'm calling 911.""

The suspect took off with some of the woman's belongings.

"He came into her window, he went through all of her stuff. He took some of her used underwear and some of her pajama bottoms."

Addie said her friend is "doing much better" knowing the suspect is now in custody.

"It was definitely very, very terrifying," she said.

Two weeks before the Labor Day weekend incidents, a CU Boulder student was sexually assaulted in her dorm room. Boulder Commander Tom Trujillo said the 17-year-old is not believed to be connected to that case.

Since the suspect is a juvenile, both Boulder police and the Boulder County District Attorney's Office cannot release his name or other identifying information. Dougherty said his office is evaluating whether they will apply to prosecute the 17-year-old as an adult. That decision will be made in the coming weeks, the district attorney said.

Boulder police say the investigation is still ongoing and believe there could be more victims. Detectives are asking anyone who may be a victim or who may have information to contact Detective Flynn at 303-441-1850 and reference case 22-8786.

Denver7's CB Cotton contributed to this report.