Area man accused of rape

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Male victim says he was afraid to leave residence

By Martin Salazar

A 62-year-old Mora County man accused of sexually assaulting another man was released from the San Miguel County Detention Center last week.

Jason Brunson was released from jail on Nov. 26 after posting an appearance bond, according to online court records.

He is facing charges of first-degree criminal sexual penetration, fourth-degree false imprisonment, a misdemeanor count of aggravated battery and a petty misdemeanor count of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Brunson denied holding the victim against his will, saying that he was free to leave at any time. And he denied touching the victim in an unwanted way.

The case stems from an incident on Nov. 16.

The statement of probable cause filed by state police in the case states that officers were dispatched to the village of Lucero in Mora county in reference to a disturbance and a male subject who might have been shot and was having a hard time breathing. The caller also reported that there were many weapons inside the residence. The document was filed in Mora County Magistrate court.

“Dispatch advised they kept calling back but that (they) just kept hanging up and (it) appeared the caller was afraid to talk,” the court document states.

State police arrived at the home at 8:44 p.m. and encountered a man they later determined was the victim. He initially  denied calling 911, saying it was probably a neighbor who called.

The victim was gathering his things and appeared anxious to leave, police said. The victim was separated from Brunson, and he told the officer that Brunson was crazy and that he wanted to leave the residence. He admitted that he had called 911 but said he couldn’t say much because Brunson was near him when dispatch tried calling back.

When the officer asked the victim why he had dialed 911, he started crying and said that he was on the couch sleeping when he was awakened by a gunshot.

He said that he had been at the residence six to eight days and was afraid to leave because he feared Brunson and what he might do, noting that he had lots of weapons and always carried one on him. The victim agreed to having a sexual assault nurse examiner exam conducted on him.

A preliminary hearing in the case had initially been scheduled for last week, but it has been postponed until Jan. 8.

Online Mora County court records show that Brunson’s bond was initially set at $500,000 cash. Those records don’t state what bond was actually posted to secure his release.

The victim was also taken into custody for three outstanding warrants.