Rifle grad involved in alleged incident during state tournament

A Rifle High School wrestler slated to attend Mesa State College was arrested on suspicion of a sex crime against a girl in Denver hours after he won a state championship.

James Conrardy, 18, is scheduled to be advised Friday in Denver County Court on a single count of unlawful sexual contact with force, a class 4 felony. He was arrested April 25 in Garfield County and is free on bond.

A guest at a Denver hotel between Feb. 19 and Feb. 22 while competing in the Colorado high school state wrestling tournament, Conrardy is accused of fondling a 15-year-old girl who also was staying at the hotel.

“(The girl) … said she was awakened when she felt a cold hand reaching under her T-shirt,” an affidavit said.

She told an investigator she recognized the person’s voice as Conrardy’s, and he grabbed her breast and reached into her shorts, below her waist.

“I told him to knock it off, and he wasn’t listening,” the girl told an investigator.

Conrardy put the girl in a “bear hug” and laid on top of her, according to the affidavit, and he traced his fingers on her lips before leaving the room.

The girl told an investigator the incident happened around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. on Feb. 22, hours after the conclusion of the 2009 wrestling championships at Denver’s Pepsi Center.

Conrardy on Feb. 21 was crowned state champion at 140 pounds for class 4A, capping a senior season of 42 wins and 2 losses, according to online records with the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Conrardy placed in the top three at the state wrestling tournament each of his four years at Rifle High, compiling a career record of 151 wins and 20 losses.

Conrardy signed a national letter of intent in November to wrestle at Mesa State College, starting this fall. Mavericks’ wrestling coach Chuck Pipher said he was unaware of Conrardy’s arrest.

“We’ll definitely have to sit down with administration,” Pipher said when asked about Conrardy’s future with the program. “You’re innocent until proven guilty, and we’ll go from there.”

A Garfield County School District RE-2J spokeswoman declined comment when asked about Conrardy’s enrollment status at Rifle High.


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