A 34-year-old Mancos man accused of drugging and prostituting a woman has renewed allegations of his own against prosecutors.
District Attorney Will Furse said Christopher Collins is currently charged with felony sexual assault – overcoming a victim’s will, felony sexual assault - application of physical violence, misdemeanor protection order violation and misdemeanor sexual assault. The alleged crimes stem from an incident that occurred April 29, he said.
Public defender Katherine Whitney told District Court Judge Todd Plewe on Tuesday, Aug. 5, that she wanted to renew her motion for sanctions against the district attorney’s office for “outrageous governmental conduct.” A hearing on her complaint was set for Aug. 27.
In court records, Whitney outlined in her motion that Furse’s misconduct included delayed filing of charges, ongoing discovery violations and detainment of her client after initial charges were dismissed. State law requires a defendant be granted a preliminary hearing within 35 days of arrest, Whitney wrote in her motion.
On Thursday, Furse said the defendant’s motion for sanctions was previously denied in the County Court, adding his office continues to follow the rules of evidence and procedure despite the defendant’s “baseless claims” to the contrary.
“This kind of motion is an entrenched strategy utilized by the defense in an attempt to gain an unjustified windfall and should not be tolerated by the courts,” he said.
According to court records, the Mancos Marshal’s Office presented prosecutors with information for an arrest warrant on May 12. Collins was arrested on two felony counts and one misdemeanor charge on May 14.
The case file reveals the initial charges were dismissed upon a recommendation from prosecutors on June 25. Furse filed an amended complaint alleging the current charges the same day, citing the practice was “common place” and not prohibited. Collins remains in custody on a $100,000 bond.
According to court records, the alleged victim, 31, told police that she believed the defendant drugged, then had sex with her. The victim’s mother accused the suspect of also allowing others to have sex with her daughter while she was unconscious.
At his arraignment hearing on Tuesday, Collins pleaded not guilty to all charges. A trial, expected to last up to two weeks, was scheduled to start Jan. 20.
Present at the arraignment, the victim wailed and immediately exited the courtroom after Plewe ordered the defendant to submit to an HIV test as required by law.
Substituting for Furse at Tuesday’s proceedings was Assistant District Attorney Sean Murray.