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Jury seated in trial of ex-Lake County undersheriff accused of attempted incest, harassment

Posted at 1:45 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 15:49:01-05

LEADVILLE, Colo. — A jury has been seated in the trial of former Lake County undersheriff Fernando Mendoza whose been charged with multiple criminal counts including attempted incest and official misconduct. 

Mendoza is accused of sexually harassing several 911 dispatchers, as first reported by Denver7. He was fired in November of 2017 after the allegations came to light. He was also indicted by a grand jury last December on attempted child sex charges and embezzlement.

According to an indictment, Mendoza started asking his stepdaughter in 2012 to send him nude photos of herself when she was either 14 or 15 years old. The indictment alleges that Mendoza also asked her to send him photos or videos of her engaged in sexual conduct with other people.

Mendoza allegedly took a camera from the sheriff’s office that was kept in his home and put it in his stepdaughter's bedroom and bathroom in order to watch her undress, according to the indictment.

The two counts of second-degree official misconduct charges are addressing the sexual harassment allegations levied against Mendoza by several female 911 staffers.

Opening arguments in the case began at 1 p.m. Wednesday in a Lake County courtroom in Leadville. The trial is expected to last several days.