Man gets five years in assault
A Mesa County man accused last year of physically and sexually attacking a woman despite an existing restraining order has been sentenced to five years in prison after entering a guilty plea to counts of felony assault and misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact.
Ryan Lee Gordon, 35, agreed to a so-called “Alford plea” offered by Mesa County prosecutor Bo Zeerip. In the plea, Gordon agreed to conviction on both counts but wasn’t required to admit that the attack happened. The woman reported that Gordon came to her home, sexually assaulted her and strangled her when she tried to fight back.
While Gordon admitted that he was at the victim’s home in violation of a protection order, he made a statement at some point during the investigation that she had head-butted him and was “controlling the situation,” according to Zeerip.
Mesa County District Judge Lance Timbreza ordered Gordon’s prison sentence Wednesday despite a request by defense attorney Vince Felletter for probation or community corrections.
Felletter argued that his client had no criminal history, and spoke extensively about the victim’s mostly misdemeanor criminal background. Gordon had a job, a supportive family and good relationships with his children, Felletter said.
“He doesn’t have a lot of barriers to success,” Felletter told Timbreza, adding that despite a “factual dispute” about the case, Gordon is accepting responsibility under the plea. “This defendant… he’s lived a law-abiding life.”
The victim of the attack spoke during the hearing and said the incident — which left her with 10 stitches in her head — has left her traumatized.
“I have some deep-rooted scars from that incident,” the woman said. “I’m not here to bash Ryan, but I think he needs to be punished for what he did.”