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Ouray newspapers stolen after running story about alleged rapes at police chief's house

Newspapers Stolen Rape Charge
Posted at 9:22 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 23:23:32-05

OURAY, Colo. (AP) — Nearly all the copies of a small-town Colorado newspaper were stolen from newspaper racks on the same day the Ouray County Plaindealer published a story about charges being filed over rapes alleged to have occurred at an underage drinking party at the police chief's house while the chief was asleep.

Owner and publisher Mike Wiggins said the newspaper responded by posting the story on social media, removing the website's firewall and printing another 250 copies of the paper.

The papers were taken on Thursday morning. By Thursday evening, someone returned a garbage bag worth of papers, and supporters had donated about $2,000 to the paper.

Police Chief Jeff Wood did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.

In a press release, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) announced an investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a juvenile at an Ouray home on May 14, 2023. The investigation was launched at the request of the Ouray County Sheriff's Office.

CBI said three people were arrested — Gabriel Trujillo, 20, Ashton Whittington, 18, and a juvenile who was not named. Each faces a charge of sexual assault, a Class 3 felony.

Trujillo and Whittington were booked into the Montrose County Jail and each given a $60,000 cash/surety bond. The juvenile was arrested in Kansas and extradited to Colorado.

The investigation is ongoing, according to CBI. The bureau said the 7th Judicial District Attorney's Office is assisting in the investigation.

Denver7's Sydney Isenberg contributed to this report.

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