Former Montezuma County sheriff hopeful William “Bill” Conner was officially charged with seven counts of child sexual assault this week.
During a 23-minute proceeding in Montezuma County Court on Wednesday, Oct. 28, Conner’s paid defense attorney, Kelly McCabe, waived reading of the charges and requested a preliminary hearing. Those proceedings were set for Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 25.
According to court records, all seven counts of child sexual assault are alleged to have taken place during a near yearlong span between Sept. 28, 2008, and Sept. 1, 2009. A seven-page arrest warrant issued earlier this month reveals the charges are connected to the alleged molestation of two underage relatives.
Conner, 55, of Cortez, was arrested and jailed on Friday, Oct. 16. He is currently free after posting a $30,000 bond.
Court records reveal that investigators first learned of the allegations in 2014. During an hour-long interview with a social worker, the youngest of the alleged victims, now 17, said she was repeatedly assaulted in a pasture and inside Conner’s home.
The oldest alleged victim also told a social worker during a subsequent hourlong interview that she too was sexually assaulted by Conner. Investigators have indicated that a journal from the now 21-year-old woman reveals a wish to go back to when she was 14, so she could “tell Bill no,” that they should wait until she turned 18.
According to court documents, Conner spoke with investigators in April. He denied any wrongdoing, telling authorities that both girls were untruthful. He declined to take a polygraph exam regarding the allegations.
Employment records show that Conner served as a deputy, lieutenant and even undersheriff with the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office between 1986 and 2006.
Conner left law enforcement after a failed election campaign in 2006 against Sheriff Gerald Wallace. Since, Conner has worked as a truck driver, mechanic and substitute school bus driver, a relative confirmed.
Under GPS surveillance, bond conditions bar Conner from contact with the alleged victims. He’s also prohibited from possessing firearms.