Cops: Man admits assault on girl, 7
Ex-firefighter confessed to sexual contact with then-girlfriend's daughter
A former Clifton volunteer firefighter was arrested Wednesday after admitting he’d sexually assaulted a 7-year-old girl last year at a Fruitvale apartment, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Russell Dogert, 23, of Eckert, was ordered jailed Thursday on $50,000 bond following his arrest on suspicion of sexual assault on a child, sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and child enticement.
According to the affidavit, investigators pursued a warrant for Dogert’s arrest after he allegedly admitted to leading his then-girlfriend’s young daughter into a closet at a Fruitvale apartment and forcing her to touch his genitals around May 2012.
Dogert’s alleged confession, in an interview with a Mesa County sheriff’s investigator, happened after he’d initially denied wrongdoing.
“Russell became emotional during his confession and said he didn’t know why he did this, but repeated that he had been drinking on the night it happened,” reads the affidavit.
Dogert was dating the alleged victim’s mother at the time, while the trio was living with another couple at Racquet Club apartments, 2915 Orchard Ave.
The allegations were first brought to law enforcement’s attention April 22 by the girlfriend of the victim’s father, according to the affidavit.
The girl’s initial disclosure was in February, prompting the father and girlfriend to file a formal report with the Mesa County Department of Human Services.
“(Girlfriend) stated they didn’t hear anything but received a letter (on April 22) stating that DHS was not going to pursue the case,” the affidavit said.
The day after lodging the report with the Sheriff’s Department, the girl was interviewed at the Western Slope Center for Children. The girl said she didn’t come forward earlier because she was embarrassed and Dogert had asked her to “keep it a secret.”
The girlfriend told investigators Dogert, at the time of the alleged incidents, volunteered with the Clifton Fire Department. Dogert acknowledged working for the Fire Department during the period and taking his girlfriend’s children “to the fire station,” the affidavit said.
“I loved those kids like they were my own,” Dogert told an investigator.