Grand Junction man, 21, accused of sex assault on young girl

A 21-year-old Grand Junction man was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of sexually assaulting a young girl for at least two years, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

Jephte Cardenas was arrested at his home at 2910 Bunting Ave., No. 19, shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a preschool-aged girl without force on at least four separate occasions, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Lisa McCammon said. Cardenas also was arrested on suspicion of sex assault on a child as a pattern of abuse.

The girl said the alleged incidents happened between Aug. 1, 2003, and Aug. 4, 2005, McCammon said.

The case remains under investigation, McCammon said, adding the case is complex for a couple of reasons.

First, Cardenas was a juvenile at the time of the alleged incidents, but the severity of the charges open the way for Cardenas to possibly be charged as an adult. Second, the girl no longer lives in Grand Junction.

The girl reported the assaults in April.


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