SAGUACHE COUNTY – According to reports from the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office, two men were arrested last month for sexual assault, one on a 4-year-old male, the other involving a 6-year-old male.
On July 13, 18-year-old Gerald Nusbaum of La Garita allegedly committed the first incident at the home of his employer. According to reports by Cpl. Steve Hansen and Sheriff Dan Warwick, the employer and his wife reported their son had been lured into the garage by Nusbaum.
When they noticed the boy’s pants were down, they asked Nusbaum why this was the case. He told them the boy had been butted by a goat and possibly was injured. The boy later told his mother the story about the goat wasn’t true. He then told her Nusbaum touched his buttocks with his private parts but he was told not to tell anyone. The boy later indicated Nusbaum may have molested him on other occasions.
The father told Warwick he was trying to keep the children away from Nusbaum because he knew he had a criminal record and a drug history, also that he grew up in a troubled home. The boy’s father said Nusbaum’s sister died recently but he did not think he had been permanently affected by her death.
Nusbaum was interviewed by Hansen and Warwick. He was arrested later last month and charged with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.
The second incident occurred at the Orient Land Trust (OLT) on July 23. The Land Trust was the subject of a lawsuit several years ago regarding various alleged incidents of sexual abuse over the years, some of them involving minors. The suit, filed by a former director, was settled out of court.
In this case, Charles Hastings, 40, of Pueblo was visiting the mineral hot springs and sat down to play a computer game with the son of a couple who volunteer time at the OLT. The mother told Cpl. Hansen, who responded to the call, she felt something was not right with Hastings from the start and did not like him.
After Hastings was done with the video game he was playing with her son, she asked her son if Hastings had touched him. The boys said Hastings made him sit on his hand. The mother asked Hastings if this was true and he told her the boy accidentally sat on his hand.
The mother declined to have Hansen interview the boy because she said she did not want to traumatize him any further.
Later Hastings told the mother he had a history of doing things to children and had asked her son to sit on his hand. The mother attempted to record her conversations with Hastings to document his responses to her. In his report, Hansen said the audio file is hard to hear.
Hastings was read his Miranda rights and chose not to speak to Hansen. He was arrested and charged with sexual assault on a child.