Insanity plea mulled by Hilltop rapes suspect

An attorney for a Grand Junction man accused of raping two disabled women says a plea of insanity is being considered.

District Judge Valerie Robison on Tuesday set a deadline of Dec. 4 for public defenders to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for 46-year-old Roger Dale Smith. He was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of sexual assault and second-degree burglary after the rapes of two developmentally disabled women in June at Hilltop Community Resources.

Deputy Public Defender Stacie Colling on Tuesday raised the prospect of the insanity plea, just before she pleaded not guilty on Smith’s behalf to all counts.

Robison set Smith’s trial for eight days, starting April 12.

Colling said she was unable to move ahead with the insanity plea Tuesday because the defense hadn’t received an anticipated large volume of medical records related to Smith.

Smith was arrested June 24 at his Grand Junction home. An arrest affidavit alleged that he broke into an apartment by removing a window screen, then assaulted one of three women in the room.

Smith had triggered a silent alarm. He was confronted by a staff member in the hallway and fled, the affidavit said.

The staff member told police that “Roger” was the same man suspected in another assault on June 12 against another Hilltop client, the affidavit said.

The first rape victim had been diagnosed with mild mental retardation and was functioning like someone who was younger   because of a brain injury, the affidavit said.

Four days after the first assault, Smith was arrested in Eagle County on suspicion of menacing, prohibited use of a weapon and drunken driving, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

Smith also was arrested in Grand Junction in November 1987 on a charge of misdemeanor indecent exposure to a minor, according to the CBI.


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