Clifton man accused of assaulting, exploiting child

A Clifton man has been arrested on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted a child and possessed dozens of sexually exploitative materials.

Charles Irving Steinberg, 59, 458 1/2 Callery Court, has been charged with one felony count of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and in a pattern of abuse, one felony count related to sexual assault and 31 counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

The details of the allegations against Steinberg are unclear because the arrest warrant has been sealed. But Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger called the case “highly aggravated” and said multiple law-enforcement agencies in multiple states are investigating Steinberg. He asked County Judge Craig Henderson on Monday to set a high cash-only bond, saying he would pursue lifetime imprisonment for Steinberg, should he be convicted.

Hautzinger’s declaration prompted Steinberg, who appeared in court via closed-
circuit television from the Mesa County Jail, to look up at the ceiling and roll his eyes.

Defense attorney James Fahrenholtz said Steinberg’s criminal history is contained to the late 1980s and early 1990s when he was arrested on multiple occasions for driving under the influence. He noted that Steinberg has no felony convictions and lived in Mesa County from 1980 to 1992, moved away, then returned four years ago. He asked Henderson for a $25,000 cash or surety bond.

The judge, though, said given the seriousness of the charges, Steinberg presented an “unacceptable risk of flight.” He ordered Steinberg held on a $100,000 cash bond.

The charges against Steinberg indicate the alleged sex assaults occurred between March 2003 and March 2004, and that he possessed sexually exploitative materials between March 2003 and this month.

Hautzinger said he hoped to have the arrest warrant unsealed before Steinberg’s next court appearance on May 6. Grand Junction police declined to release Steinberg’s mug shot, citing the ongoing investigation.


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