Man, 81, suspected of sexual assault

Leroy Smith

An 81-year-old resident at a Grand Junction assisted-living complex was arrested Monday on suspicion he sexually assaulted a 74-year-old woman twice in one day.

Leroy E. Smith, 3032 N. 15th St., unit 506, was ordered held at Mesa County Jail on Tuesday on $10,000 bond on suspicion of misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact without consent and felony third-degree sexual assault against an at-risk victim.

Grand Junction police went to the woman’s residence Monday after she accused Smith of inappropriately touching her twice Sunday.

She said the first encounter occurred when she was naked in her bathroom around 7 a.m., according to an arrest affidavit. Smith entered the bathroom and refused to leave when told, the affidavit alleged.

The woman alleged that Smith touched her breasts before asking, “You want me to (expletive) you?” the affidavit said.

“Absolutely not,” she replied.

Around 1 p.m., he grabbed her inappropriately a second time,  the affidavit alleged, and again she told him to stop.

Smith acknowledged entering the woman’s bathroom and touching her once, but he said he left when she told him to do so, the affidavit said. He denied making any statements to the woman while he was in her bathroom.

Smith told officers he and the woman had been friends many years. The woman told officers she had given a key to her apartment to Smith, who was allowed to come and go from her residence.

“(Woman) stated that she and the defendant have never been involved other than being friends,” the affidavit said.

During bond arguments Tuesday, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger told a judge that officers have since removed the woman’s apartment key from Smith’s apartment.

Hautzinger and County Court Judge Craig Henderson suggested Tuesday they were conflicted about the type and amount of bond to be set in Smith’s case. Smith’s lone prior brush with the law was a 1954 conviction for indecent exposure in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The judge on Tuesday ordered Smith to be fitted with a Global Positioning System bracelet in the event he posts bond. Smith was restrained from contacting the woman, and a GPS system would be rigged to alert authorities if he comes within a certain distance of her.


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