Wife of sex assault suspect cites dementia, wants him locked up

Lance Mallinson



The wife of a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl asked a judge Thursday to keep her husband locked up at the Mesa County Jail, citing fears about his dementia and public safety were he to be freed.

“I know he wouldn’t mean to do anything, but he doesn’t have control on that part of his brain,” said the woman, speaking on behalf of her husband, 63-year-old Lance Mallinson.

Mallinson, 2007 Wood Court in Grand Junction, was ordered held on $100,000 bond by County Court Judge Gretchen Larson, one day after his arrest on a Mesa County Sheriff’s Department warrant on suspicion of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and attempted sexual assault.

With no prior arrests, a longtime resident and homeowner, Mallinson was a proper candidate to be released on a personal-recognizance bond, except for the mental-health concerns, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger told the judge. Among conditions for posting bond will be no contact with children under age 18.

“Frankly, I have real doubts about his ability to comply with that,” the DA said.

Hautzinger said the prosecution of Mallinson’s case likely will be peppered with arguments about whether he’s mentally competent to proceed.

According to an arrest affidavit, Mallinson’s wife told an investigator her husband was being treated at Grand Junction’s Veterans Affairs Administration Hospital for dementia and post traumatic stress disorder.

The affidavit said the 12-year-old told an investigator that Mallinson asked her for oral sex, but she refused. She alleged he then grabbed her breasts. The incidents occurred within hours of one another April 4.

Mallinson admitted making the sexual request but denied touching the girl. He told investigators he didn’t know why he made the request, but added, “Just my head gets screwed up.”


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