Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — A 12th Judicial District judge last week disqualified herself and other local judges from presiding over a sexual assault case involving a Sanford defense attorney.
In doing so, Judge Pattie Swift asked the Colorado Supreme Court to appoint a judge who resides outside the district to supervise future proceedings against Byron Lee Miller.
Authorities charged the 38-year-old man with an enhanced felony count of sexual assault, misdemeanor harassment and obstruction of a telephone or telegraphic service, based on allegations that he victimized an Alamosa woman on Jan. 3.
However, to ensure the “effective administration of justice,” the local district attorney’s office will not be responsible for building a case against a defense attorney who practices in the 12th Judicial District. Instead, District Attorney David Mahonee is asking the court to appoint 11th Judicial District Attorney Thom LeDoux as a special prosecutor in the case.
According to an Alamosa Police Department affidavit on the incident, the woman later recorded a call between herself and Miller in which he allegedly acknowledged that the encounter was not consensual.
The affidavit alleges that Miller was apologetic and vowed to leave the woman alone “forever.” He also expressed concerns that he would not be able to practice law anymore, according to the affidavit. (In addition to working as a defense attorney, Miller also serves as the attorney for Conejos County’s Department of Social Services.)
During a Jan. 7 interview with police, Miller was visibly upset and could not make initial eye contact with his interviewer, according to the affidavit.
He allegedly told police that he and the woman had been involved in a “pretty heated” altercation at her home in Alamosa, and he grabbed her wrists at one point.
Police asked him if that was the extent of the incident, and he said it was, the affidavit says.
However, when police asked him if he had intimate relations with the woman, he allegedly said that he did, adding that the encounter was consensual.
According to the affidavit, Miller told the interviewer that it was “not out of the ordinary” for them to argue on those occasions.
The affidavit says that Miller also acknowledged that he subsequently called the woman three times, even after police told him not to contact her.
Miller remains free on a $50,000 bond.