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Jeffco parks suspect 'felt compelled to commit sexual acts in the presence of women,' according to affidavit

The 20-year-old was arrested on Tuesday night. He is the suspect in 10 incidents involving indecent exposure or unlawful sexual contact on Jefferson County trails
Shadow Pine Loop at Flying J Ranch Park
Posted at 12:04 PM, Aug 10, 2023

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The suspected sexual predator accused of targeting lone women in Jefferson County parks told investigators following his arrest that he felt "compelled" to perform sexual acts in front of women, according to an arrest affidavit released Thursday morning.

Glenn Thompson Braden IV, 20, who lives in Evergreen, was arrested on Tuesday evening following multiple instances where he allegedly targeted female hikers, exposed himself and masturbated, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO). In a few of the cases, he tried to grab at the women or their clothes, JCSO said. The first incident happened on April 3 and the latest two were on Tuesday evening.

In the most recent case, Braden allegedly exposed himself to two separate women who were hiking alone near the Beaver Brook Trailhead, JCSO said. At least one of the women called 911 and deputies and park rangers spent a couple hours searching the woods. After a brief chase, they found Braden and took him into custody around 8:30 p.m., according to the affidavit.

Alderfer Three Sisters Park_Stephanie Butzer

Local

JCSO: Arrest made in case of sexual predator targeting women in Jeffco parks

Stephanie Butzer
10:42 AM, Aug 09, 2023

Braden was transported to the sheriff's office and has been booked into the Jefferson County Jail on three counts of unlawful sexual contact and five counts of indecent exposure. Both are misdemeanors.

The charges stem from incidents at Flying J Ranch Park, Alderfer/Three Sisters Park and Genesee Mountain Park (the Beaver Brook Trailhead location) in Jefferson County, the affidavit reads.

The document lists the incidents chronologically, beginning with the April 3 case at Flying J Ranch Park, which is located at 9661 County Highway 73.

At 3:24 p.m. that day, a deputy with JCSO responded after receiving a report of a man running naked through the park. He arrived at 3:30 p.m. and spoke with some hikers in the parking lot, though none of them reported seeing the naked man. The deputy then called the victim who had alerted authorities. She said she had been running on the trails when a naked man slapped her butt and ran past her, the affidavit reads. While the slap did not hurt, she said it startled her and she took some time to compose herself before taking out her phone and recording a short video.

Denver7 obtained that video from the victim. The sheriff's office has confirmed the video shows the suspect.

Video of suspect in Jeffco sexual assault cases

By the time she was able to call 911, about 15 minutes had passed since the suspect touched her, according to the affidavit.

While talking with the deputy, the woman described the suspect as a male between 20 and 30 years old with a medium build. She said he had short, dark hair and appeared to have something in his hand, though she couldn't see what it was, the affidavit said.

The second report came in on May 4 — also from Flying J Ranch Park.

Around 9:54 a.m., a park ranger reported that an unknown person had reported seeing a naked man — described as white and between 30 and 40 years old — on the Shadow Pine Loop near the Apache Springs neighborhood access, which is on the southwest side of the loop, according to the affidavit. A deputy arrived at the park around 10:08 a.m. and spoke with other people in the park, but nobody else had seen a nude person.

The deputy drove around the area as well and did not see a suspect, according to the affidavit.

The third report was on June 13 at Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, located at 31677 Buffalo Park Road.

Around 6:50 p.m., two deputies responded to the park after an incident of indecent exposure was reported. A victim told the deputies she was hiking with her new puppy around the trail to Brother Lookout when somebody approached her from ahead. She stepped off the trail to let him pass when she noticed he was fully nude, according to the affidavit.

"Startled, (she) let out a yelp as the male approached her while he was touching his genitals," the affidavit reads. "(She) started to back away from the male but stumbled and fell into a sitting position. The male continued to advance toward her while fondling himself."

When the woman began calling for help, he ran off into the woods, the document reads. She told the deputies that while he did not say anything to her, his posture was aggressive.

She described the suspect as a tall, slender white man in his 20s with short, well-groomed hair and no facial hair. He was wearing a fanny pack, but no clothes, she said.

Search continues for sexual predator targeting lone women at Jeffco Open Space parks

About a month later, on July 11, a fourth report was made involving this suspect. It was again at Flying J Ranch Park.

Around 5:30 p.m., a woman said she went for a hike around the Shadow Pine Loop trail for about an hour. As she made her way back to her vehicle — about a quarter of a mile away from the parking lot — she saw a naked man walking toward her on the trail. The woman reported that he was holding his half-erect penis in his right hand and as he neared her, asked, "Could you touch me, please?" according to the affidavit. She replied, "Get the f*** away from me" and started walking faster toward her car. She heard him say, "I'll pay" as she walked away, the document reads. When she looked back, she said the man was not following her.

The woman told deputies that she thought the male had passed her earlier in her hike and was fully clothed at that time, according to the affidavit. She thought he had been wearing checkered pajama pants and a gray backpack.

She described him as standing about 5 feet, 6 inches with a thin build. He appeared to be in his 20s, she said.

A week later on July 18, a fifth report came in, also at Flying J Ranch Park. Three reports would come in this day at the park.

Around 7:10 p.m., a deputy responded to a report of unlawful sexual contact. A woman told the deputy that she had been hiking on the trails and stopped to take a photograph. As she stood still, a person came up behind her and slapped her butt, the affidavit reads. She was startled and initially thought it was one of her friends, but when she turned around, she saw a man she did not know. He asked, "Do you wanna f***?" and she responded "What the f***?" before he turned and ran away, according to the affidavit.

He was not nude, she said. He was wearing normal hiking clothing and was carrying a backpack, the document reads.

The woman described the suspect as a thin white man standing about 5 feet, 10 inches. He appeared to be in his early 20s. He did not have facial hair.

About 90 minutes later, a deputy was again called to Flying J Ranch for a report of unlawful sexual contact. This marked the sixth report.

The deputy was dispatched at 8:28 p.m. and spoke with a woman who said about five to 10 minutes before she had called 911, she was half a mile up a trail when she ran into hikers who warned her that there was a naked man masturbating in the park, according to the affidavit. The woman said she decided to hike in the opposite direction from where the man reportedly was.

As she was nearing the end of her hike, a man came up behind her and grabbed her butt, the affidavit reads. The man continued running down the trail and did not say anything during the encounter.

She described him as between 25 and 26 years old with a thin build, dark hair and wearing dark pants and a dark T-shirt.

The woman told deputies that while she did not know the man, she recognized him — she had seen him in the park three times in the past month, according to the affidavit.

The seventh report happened the same day.

Deputies spoke with the victim, who had reported an indecent exposure incident at Flying J Ranch Park that day. The woman said between 6 and 6:30 p.m., she was around the top of Shadow Pine Loop riding her bike with her friend when a man stopped in front of them, pulled down his pants and "began performing 'illicit acts' on himself in front of them," the affidavit reads. He continued to do so while the woman and her friend rode away.

The woman described the man as between 20 and 30 years old and white. He had thick black hair and was wearing gray sweatpants and a black T-shirt with a black backpack.

A few days later, on July 24, an eighth report was made, also at Flying J Ranch Park.

Around 8:16 p.m., a deputy responded to the park in reference to a reported unlawful sexual contact. The deputy spoke with a woman who said she was walking along the lower east side of Johns Landing Trail between two parking lots when she heard somebody jogging behind her. She stepped off the trail to let the person pass, and the man smacked her butt, the affidavit reads.

She turned around and saw a naked man with black shoes and a black backpack masturbating in front of her. The woman remembered saying, "Nope," and turning to walk away. She said the suspect hit her butt again and tried to rip down her shorts, according to the affidavit. She fought to keep them on and then the suspect started to rip her shirt from the front collar, according to the affidavit. Her bra was ripped in half from the front strap, she said.

She called for help and caught the attention of two mountain bikers, who rode over to help. The suspect then ran into the woods, according to the affidavit. She described the suspect to the deputy as a white man in his 20s with brown hair and brown eyes.

Two days after this incident, on July 26, the JCSO put out a press release and social media post, and spoke with local media about the series of crimes. The public was encouraged to report anything suspicious they saw in connection with the case. As of the affidavit's publishing date, the JCSO received 38 tips.

Warning signs were installed at trailheads at several Jefferson County parks, including Flying J Ranch.

Shadow Pine Loop warning sign at Flying J Ranch Park

The JCSO submitted a shirt and pair of shorts from two of the victims to the Jefferson County Regional Crime Laboratory to test for DNA. The results were available on July 28. The shirt had four DNA contributors, a portion of which was male. The woman's brother, who lived with her, submitted his DNA so investigators could rule that DNA out.

The sample was submitted into CODIS, but did not find any matches, which indicates that the suspect likely did not have a DNA profile in CODIS, according to the affidavit.

Alderfer/Three Sisters Park

Follow Up

Search continues for sexual predator targeting women at Jeffco Open Space parks

Stephanie Butzer
5:14 PM, Aug 04, 2023

The JCSO set up surveillance operations, including cameras, at Flying J Ranch Park in response to these crimes. On Aug. 1, the cameras captured a gold 2004 GMC Sierra pickup truck with Colorado license plates in the parking lot. The driver matched the suspect description. In the video, he appeared to read the warning notice at the trailhead before getting back into the vehicle and driving off, according to the affidavit. Investigators ran the license plate and found it was registered to Braden.

The ninth and 10th reports happened on Aug. 8 near the Beaver Brook Trailhead, across Interstate 70 from Genesee Mountain.

Around 6:24 p.m., deputies responded to the area after receiving a report of indecent exposure. A woman reported seeing a man on the Beaver Brook Trail who dropped his pants and started masturbating in front of her, according to the affidavit.

Deputies arrived by 6:35 p.m. and spoke with two women who had encountered the man, plus numerous witnesses. They described the man in his 20s with black hair. The responding deputies also found a gold 2004 GMC Sierra pickup truck with the same license plate as the one seen on surveillance footage at Flying J Ranch about a week earlier.

The deputies searched for the suspect and following a brief chase, found him around 8:34 p.m. He was taken into custody and transported to JCSO headquarters for an interview. In addition, both of the victims from the incidents that evening agreed to speak with investigators.

One of the women told an investigator that she arrived around 4:45 p.m. and hiked until 7 p.m. Some time between 6 and 6:30 p.m., she saw a man walking toward her on the trail and she stepped aside to let him pass, saying, "Good evening." As he approached, she saw the waistband of his pants was around his knees. His left hand held up the side of his pants while he stretched his right arm toward her backside, the woman said. She yelled, "No!" and walked away, checking behind her often to make sure he was not following her, the affidavit reads. She did not have cell service.

After going some distance, she said she "screamed in anger," according to the document, and warned everybody she passed. She said he knew another woman was on the trail behind her, so she did not walk too far.

Around 10:16 p.m., the second victim from that evening spoke with investigators. She said she had arrived around 5:20 p.m. and saw the suspect walking toward her around 6 p.m. The trail narrowed as they got close and the woman noticed the man's waistband was around his knees. She called him a "f***king idiot" and continued to walk, according to the affidavit. She turned around to look at him after passing him and saw he had stopped and was masturbating. He said, "You're hot," before she continued walking away from him as fast as she could, she told investigators.

The woman said she does not follow the news or social media, so she did not know about the issue in Jeffco parks.

Both of the victims from Aug. 8 described the suspect as wearing a baggy gray shirt, olive-colored sweatpants and glasses, according to the affidavit.

That same night, around 10:13 p.m., investigators interviewed Braden. They noted he was wearing a gray T-shirt, olive-colored sweatpants and glasses. The affidavit describes him as white, 20 years old and thin, with dark hair.

He was advised of his rights and said he was willing to speak about the incidents.

Braden said he moved to Colorado in 2021 with his family and lives with his mother and siblings in Evergreen, less than 10 miles from Flying J Ranch Park and a few miles from Alderfer/Three Sisters Park.

He said he works at El Rancho Restaurant as a line cook and is off on Mondays and Tuesdays, when he enjoys hiking at Bergen Peak, Genesee Mountain Park and Alderfer/Three Sisters. After discussing this some more, he admitted to also hiking at Flying J Ranch Park, according to the affidavit. Investigators noted that all but one of the 10 reported incidents happened on a Monday or Tuesday.

He said he has had a compulsion to masturbate since he was 9 years old, according to the affidavit.

"He said at least once a week, and often more times than that, including three times in one day, he would hike the mountain park trails and purposely expose his genitals to women he met along the way," the affidavit read.

Braden said he would "get very high on marijuana" before hiking and often said he did not remember much about those encounters, but did recall the women reacted with disgust, according to the affidavit. He admitted to coming up behind some of them and "possibly slapping them on the buttocks with his open hand," the affidavit said. He said he also remembered asking some of the women if they'd help him masturbate. He said he never tried to remove the women's clothing.

During the interview, he said he would never purposefully hurt somebody, but "he felt compelled to commit these sexual acts in the presence of women," the affidavit reads, and he could "not help his compulsion."

That concluded the 11-page affidavit.

Braden was in court at 10 a.m. Thursday, where Jefferson County Judge Keith Goman set a cash-only bond at $100,000.

During the discussion of his bond, Deputy District Attorney Tracy Schroeder argued that the community has significant concerns about their safety if the bond was set at a low amount. Schroeder said the incidents seemed to be escalating and by Braden's own admission in the affidavit, it was something he felt compelled to do.

She asked for the cash-only $100,000 bond. If he was able to bond out, she laid out several other requests, including that he was prohibited from returning to any Jeffco Open Space parks or Denver Mountain Parks.

Public defender Lukas Dregne argued for a cash or surety bond not to exceed $25,000, saying that was the maximum Braden was able to afford. Dregne said the 20-year-old has a "lot of life left ahead of him" and this marks his first criminal allegation. He also explained that Braden was concerned about missing shifts at his job.

Braden's brother also spoke in court, saying if his family was able to bond him out and bring him home, they would bring him to a mental health facility to make sure he starts to receive the help he needs. He's never been in trouble before, the brother said, adding that while his family is supporting Braden, they are just as upset as the community about his actions.

"We want to give him the chance to make things right," the brother said.

Judge Goman acknowledged that the defendant's behavior was escalating and based on the allegations and potential of putting victims at risk, he set the bond at $100,000 cash-only. Braden is not allowed to contact any victims, possess any firearms or ammunition, or visit any of the Jeffco parks or Denver Mountain Parks, the judge said. If Braden's family found a suitable mental health facility and put a plan in place to ensure the safety of the community, he would be willing to reconsider the bond, he said.

Braden is next due in court on Sept. 26.


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