A former Montezuma County lawman will remain under GPS surveillance while awaiting a preliminary hearing on child molestation charges.
At a scheduled preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 25, defense attorney Kelly McCabe requested that the surveillance stipulation be removed as a bond condition for his client, William “Bill” Conner. A former Montezuma County sheriff candidate, Conner is charged with eights counts of child sex assault. He remains free on a $30,000 bond.
“Without a substantial increase in the monetary amount of that bond, it would be inappropriate to reduce the non-monetary conditions,” said Montezuma County Court Judge Jennilynn Lawrence.
Denying the defense request, Lawrence explained that she initially agreed to set a lower-than-normal bond amount on the condition that the defendant be monitored by GPS surveillance.
“It is impossible to ignore the degree of risk presented by the offenses alleged in this case, so the GPS requirement remains,” Lawrence added.
McCabe also requested that Wednesday’s preliminary hearing be continued, citing he needed additional time to review a plea agreement presented by prosecutors. McCabe indicated that his client was unlikely to accept the plea deal.
“Mr. Conner is not interested in any plea in this case,” said McCabe. “He maintains his innocence.”
The court granted the continuance, setting a new preliminary hearing for 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 6.
A seven-page arrest warrant reveals the charges against Conner are connected to the alleged molestation of two underage relatives in 2008 and 2009. Investigators first learned of the allegations in 2014.
During an 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 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.”
According to court documents, Conner spoke with investigators in April, denying any wrongdoing. He declined a polygraph exam, police said.
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 former 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.