Sexual assault charges against a former Cortez police officer have been dismissed.
District Attorney Will Furse confirmed late Sunday that his office would not pursue charges against Ryan Carter, stating via email that the court granted a prosecution’s motion to “dismiss the case without prejudice.” Furse filed the three-paragraph motion on Feb. 6. District Court Judge Todd Plewe approved the motion to dismiss on Feb. 6.
“After thorough investigation, it has been determined that the essential witness is unwilling to testify,” Furse wrote in the motion.
Without cooperation from the witness, the motion further states that it would be “morally impermissible” for prosecutors to rely on “extensive use of impeachment” evidence to prosecute the case.
“Accordingly, the state is moving to dismiss in the interests of justice,” Furse wrote.
Furse declined further comment when contacted on Sunday.
Carter, 29, has maintained his innocence on five counts of sexual assault on a child since his arrest last summer. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing in December. His trial was set to start in April.
The former Cortez Police Department officer was arrested after the alleged 14-year-old victim told authorities that she and Carter had three sexual encounters. According to the arrest warrant, Carter also allegedly engaged in inappropriate text message conversations with the girl, now 15 years old.
After his arrest, Carter resigned from the police department via a jailhouse resignation letter before posting a $100,000 bond. He had been employed with the agency since 2011.