‘George Tiba again found guilty of sexual assault in Boulder retrial’

See the report in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

George Tiba

George Tiba (Colorado Department of Corrections)

For the second time in four years, a Boulder County jury on Friday found George Tiba guilty of sexually assaulting a Boulder woman he met at a downtown Boulder bar in 2013.

Tiba, 52, was found guilty of sexual assault on a physically helpless victim and sexual assault on a victim incapable of appraising her condition after about two hours of deliberation late Thursday and early Friday.

Tiba was originally convicted of sexual assault in this case in 2013, but was granted a retrial after the conviction was overturned on appeal. But after a four-day trial, a new jury came to the same conclusion as the 2013 jury.

“We are incredibly thankful for the hard work from this jury, and that we have been able to achieve justice for this survivor and other women in our community,” said Assistant District Attorney Katharina Booth, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Fred Johnson. “We believe the verdicts in this case have gone a long way to protecting the safety of our community.”

Tiba is now set for a sentencing hearing on Oct. 19. The first sex assault count could carry four to 12 years in prison, or up to 24 years if a judge found aggravating factors, while the second carries a two to six year prison range with up to 12 years with aggravating factors.

Both of the sexual assault charges are also subject to Colorado’s indeterminate sentencing laws, which means Tiba could wind up spending the rest of his life in prison.

He already is serving a 12-year prison sentence on a burglary charge that was not overturned during the appeal, but Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett said it was still important to his office to retry the sexual assault counts.

“The community should continue to know that sexual violence and violence against women is a priority for the office, and the time and effort that went into this case is a great reflection of that,” Garnett said. “We don’t get many cases reversed, but when we do, the first thing you do is check with the victim on retrying the case.

“But the heart of this case was the sexual assault allegation, and it’s important for the verdict to reflect the truth of what happened, so it was important we continued to pursue the charges until we reached justice.”

Booth also noted that sex offender registration and treatment hinged on a conviction on the sexual assault counts and also said Tiba already will be up for parole on the burglary count next year. Booth credited the victim in Tiba’s case for being willing to go through a trial twice.

“We are incredibly proud of her and her ability to, despite the extreme trauma she’s had to experience, be able to speak out and to come forward and make a substantial difference in protecting herself and protecting other women,” Booth said. “What many people can’t do once, this survivor has done twice very admirably and courageously.”

In their closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutors said that in 2013 Tiba aggressively hit on the then-22-year-old victim at the Walrus Saloon, separated her from her friends and convinced her to let him drive her home.

He then raped her after she passed out, took “trophy pictures” and stole items from her apartment.

Johnson told the jury that the woman was intoxicated and couldn’t recall portions of the night, but she clearly remembered telling Tiba that she wasn’t going to have sex with him.

“Women who go out with friends to have a good time are not fair game for rape,” Johnson told jurors during closing arguments Thursday afternoon. “From the moment he saw her at the bar to the last moment when he had her alone in her bedroom, he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.”

Tiba’s attorney, Sydney Dolan, argued that the victim had been through a traumatic experience and there was no reason to not believe her testimony, but gaps in the evidence presented made it impossible for the prosecution to prove its case.

“The prosecution in this case and taken the evidence that does exist and information that doesn’t exist and taken it to places where evidence doesn’t exist and created a story,” Dolan said. “It’s a story that fills in gaps where there isn’t any evidence.”

Boulder police say the victim had injuries consistent with assault, and Tiba told police during questioning that the woman had been drunk but had consented to sex.

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The pervert will — unless changes are made at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — wind up in a “parole bed” at some point and begin trolling for new victims. It’s what pervs do!

— MRW 

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