A 60-year-old Loma man accused of fondling two young girls several years apart appeared Friday in court to face sex assault charges.
James A. Jarvis was arrested Thursday afternoon after a report from a 12-year-old earlier this year prompted the Mesa County Sheriff's Office both to investigate her story and to reopen the investigation into the story of another girl who originally reported a similar incident in 2016, according to an arrest affidavit.
The first girl was 14 when she came forward to report that Jarvis had touched her inappropriately about a year earlier, the report said. Investigators with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office looked into her story but ultimately deactivated the case in April 2017 after being unable to contact a friend she had confided in at school, learning that there was no physical evidence and hearing that the teen's father and stepmother believed the child had ulterior motives in making the report.
In May, another woman reported that her daughter, also 12, had told her a similar story about allegedly being groped by Jarvis, the report said.
The two girls didn't know each other, and an investigator spoke to both the 12-year-old and the girl who made the first report. The investigator was able to contact the friend whom the older girl confided in after the alleged incident.
Jarvis, who refused to talk to investigators, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of two counts of sex assault on a child. He appeared Friday before Mesa County Judge Craig Henderson for a bond hearing.
The mother of the younger child — who was granted a temporary civil restraining order on June 1 — asked Henderson to keep Jarvis in jail on a high cash-only bond, and said her daughter isn't sleeping and is suffering "massive anxiety." Defense attorney Greg Mueller appeared on Jarvis' behalf, and implied that the girl's mother had been coached before making a statement in court.
"She's been educated somewhere on what she needs to say," Mueller said, adding that a high cash-only bond was "not going to fly" for Jarvis.
Henderson disagreed and ordered Jarvis to remain in custody in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond.