Man gets 32 years to life in assaults

A Grand Junction man convicted of sexually assaulting a disabled woman, and attempting to sexually assault another disabled woman, was sentenced Monday to serve 32 years to life in prison.

“These were people who can’t make decisions for themselves,” District Judge Valerie Robison said before passing sentencing on 47-year-old Roger Dale Smith.

Smith was convicted by a Mesa County jury in May on felony counts of sexual assault against an at-risk victim, and attempted sexual assault against an at-risk victim, in addition to burglary. Smith’s two victims were disabled women who were targeted in separate incidents over 12 days in June 2009 at Hilltop Community Resources.

Smith was arrested by Grand Junction police June 24 hours after authorities said he broke into a Hilltop apartment by removing a window screen and assaulted one of three women in the room, according to an arrest affidavit.

Smith was confronted by a staff member in the hallway and fled the building before police arrived.

The staff member told police that “Roger” was the same man suspected of sexually assaulting another woman in the building on June 12, the affidavit said.

Smith had befriended clients at Hilltop and had been offering them transportation to various locations.

A representative of Hilltop told the judge Monday that the incidents forced a series of new security measures at Hilltop’s Grand Junction campus, while staff members now walk to their vehicles in groups after dark.


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