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Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant on paid leave following sexual assault arrest

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- A lieutenant who's been with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) for more than 30 years is accused of sexually assaulting a former coworker.

On Sept. 9, 55-year-old Lt. Diego Duran for felony sexual assault. Monday, the PCSO told 13 Investigates that Duran had been placed on paid administrative leave.

Pueblo County records from 2020 show that Duran's annual salary was more than $83,000.

According to his arrest affidavit, Duran has been employed with the sheriff's office since 1991.

Lt. Diego Duran was first hired by the Pueblo County Sheriff in February of 1991.

According to court records, the reported assault happened on Sept. 7 during the victim's lunch break after getting a meal with Duran at a Pueblo restaurant.

The victim told investigators they agreed to the lunch after Duran had asked them "a couple times to go to lunch" a few days earlier."

After eating, Duran and the victim got into his personal truck to head back to the victim's work.

However, the victim told investigators after getting into the truck, "the next thing [redacted] knew, Duran was leaning over and grabbing" at their waistband. While reaching for them, the victim said Duran began asking what color undergarments they were wearing before he began to under the victim's belt.

During the reported assault, the victim told investigators they tried to stop Duran numerous times by grabbing his arms, pushing their legs together, leaning forward, and insisting that they needed to get back to work.

According to court records, the victim said they were pretty sure they told Duran to stop, but they weren't positive.

The victim told investigators what Duran did to them hurt.

The affidavit said Duran stopped and began driving the victim to their work, which was nearby. When they got out of the car, Duran stated "can I come over" to "finish this up," but the victim told investigators they just "wanted to get away."

When Duran asked to come over around 3:30 a.m., the victim stated they told Duran they "would meet him at the door with a shotgun." Duran didn't say anything, and the victim walked inside their place of work.

The victim said by the time they got into their office, they broke down because they "couldn’t control it anymore." 

Once inside, they spoke with a co-worker and decided to leave work but had to pull over because they were "crying and trying to figure out what to do."

After speaking on the phone with a friend, court records say the victim agreed to report it but didn't want it done in pueblo and wanted to get out of town to get a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SANE) kit done. The victim then went to Cañon City.

When investigators asked the victim about their relationship with Duran, the victim said they thought they were just two friends having lunch. 

The victim said they previously worked with Duran. They said Duran was flirtatious during that time, but he didn't cross the line.

The victim did say Duran made them uncomfortable but never made any complaints because it would’ve caused problems so they joked it off.

Investigators obtained text messages between Duran and the victim following the reported assault.

During that conversation, the victim asked Duran "Why didn't you just stop?" According to court records, Duran repeatedly said "I'm sorry," and claimed he "misread the situation."

When asked to comment on the allegations against one of their lieutenants, a spokesperson for the PCSO told 13 Investigates via email, "This is a personnel issue and still under investigation, therefore no comment."

13 Investigates also reached out to Duran's attorney for comment from the defendant.

Lieutenant Duran vehemently denies any criminal behavior regarding this matter and will vigorously defend himself when and if criminal charges are filed against him. 

Duran's defense team

13 Investigates has asked for clarification on whether or not Duran has been charged.

Duran posted a $35,000 bond on Sep. 10. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 27.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

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