On July 1, 2004, the District Attorney for Adams and Broomfield Counties, announced that no charges would be filed against David Holthouse and Nelson Guanipa arising out of a series of events that culminated on May 29, 2004. Holthouse, a staff writer for the Westword newspaper, had written an article, published on May 13, 2004, that detailed his boyhood rape in Alaska at the hands of a teenager. Holthouse wrote about how, upon discovering that the teenager who abused him had grown up to be a man who now lived in Broomfield, he had initially plotted to kill his assailant. However, after the man admitted his responsibility for the abuse and apologized for it in a meeting, Holthouse wrote that he abandoned his murderous intent and forgave the man, based upon the mans statement that he had not abused any other children. Holthouse also wrote the man a personal letter after the meeting detailing some of what he wrote in the article and adding that if the man had lied about not abusing other children, then he was going down.
On May 29, 2004, the mans wife, who was aware of all of these communications, noticed a car was following her as she ran some errands accompanied by her young child. When she returned home, she told her husband about the car and he saw it, shortly thereafter, drive by slowly several times. A stranger then walked by the house several times and peered inside. The man, his wife and their child got into their car to visit a relative and they saw the same car parked nearby. The car followed them as they drove off. The man saw and recorded the cars license plate number. Both the man and his wife were frightened, so they drove to the Broomfield Police Department and reported these events.
The police determined that the driver of the car was Nelson Guanipa, who had been asked by David Holthouse to watch the man. Holthouse told Guanipa he was concerned that the man might be a threat to Holthouse or his family.
Under Colorado law, the crime of stalking can be committed if one person makes a credible threat to another and, in connection with that threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts or places under surveillance that person or a member of his immediate family. In this situation, the elements of that crime were technically met, as the statements in the article and letter, when combined with the car following the man and his wife around at Holthouses request, could reasonably be construed as threats and conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear for his safety or the safety of his family.
However, the man and his wife have both indicated clearly that they do not want stalking charges to be filed against Holthouse or Guanipa and they do not wish to participate in any prosecution against those men. Without their full cooperation, it is unlikely that a conviction could be attained. As a result, the District Attorney will respect their wishes and will not file stalking charges against either Holthouse or Guanipa. Guanipas license had been previously suspended and he will be charged with Driving Under Suspension.
RELEASED JULY 1, 2004. QUESTIONS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY STEVE BERNARD AT 303-659-7720.
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