Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
Editor’s note: This story contains brief descriptions of sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact that might upset some readers.
This spring, an Eagle County jury will decide the fate of a Fort Collins man accused of using the popular dating app Tinder to meet and sexually assault women while living in Avon.
Joshua Gewirtz, 27, is set for two trials in May 2022 for sexual assault charges stemming from two separate incidents that occurred within 24 hours of one another at the end of November and the beginning of December 2020.
For the first, Gewirtz faces two sexual assault charges — one a class 3 felony and the other a class 4, according to Deputy District Attorney Amy Padden of the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
For the second incident, he faces two class 3 felonies for sexual assault, one that alleges the victim was drugged without consent and another that alleges the victim was “incapable of appraising the nature of her conduct.” He was also charged with a class 4 felony for sexual assault and possession of a controlled substance, a class 4 drug felony.
The class 3 felony sexual assault charges each carry sentences of 4 to 12 years in prison. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
A ‘pattern of behavior’
Gewirtz was arrested in August and remained in custody at the Eagle County jail as of Wednesday. Eagle County Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez opted to maintain an especially high bond amount for Gewirtz in a hearing on Nov. 18.
Defense attorney Jesse Wiens’ request to lower the bond was denied, and Gewirtz’s bail was maintained at $50,000 due to “the seriousness of the allegations” and “the nature of the predator-type behavior alleged,” Olguin-Fresquez said.
In both cases, victims alleged that Gewirtz contacted them through the online dating app, Tinder, and then assaulted them after meeting up for a date.
The warrants issued by the district attorney and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office alleged the crimes were part of a “pattern of behavior,” in which Gewirtz drugged and then sexually assaulted women, often choking them, according to a news release in August.
The cases are now being litigated in district court. Gewirtz came before Chief Judge Paul R. Dunkelman of the 5th Judicial District Wednesday morning for a disposition hearing.
Wiens informed Dunkelman that Gewirtz would be entering a not-guilty plea on all charges, and a trial date was set.
Two weeklong trials are scheduled at the Eagle County Justice Center in Eagle in spring: one May 2-6 and the other May 23-27. There is a chance that the district attorney’s office will choose to combine the two cases, …….