Local woman kidnapped, sexually assaulted

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By Vicky Gits

A housecleaner who lives in an apartment in Kittredge is facing charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 44-year-old local woman.

Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies arrested Joel M. Herrin, 40, at his Kittredge apartment about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29.

As deputies were approaching the dwelling, the suspect opened the door and surrendered, according to a sheriff’s department news release. The man’s address was listed as 26194 Columbine Trail in Kittredge.

Investigators believe Herrin went to the victim’s home about 9 a.m. and started cleaning. When the victim started to leave, she reportedly was knocked to the floor and forced into the bedroom, where she was handcuffed and her mouth was taped.

A short time later, the victim was carried to Herrin’s SUV and taken to his apartment, where she was assaulted.

When police arrived, the distraught victim was in the front room and told officers she had been kidnapped at 10:30 in the morning and held for about 12 hours.

Deputies started looking for the woman after her ex-husband called police with a missing-person report at 5:40 p.m. because she failed to show up for an appointment earlier in the day.

Herrin was in the Jefferson County jail on charges of first-degree kidnapping, unlawful sexual contact and felony menacing.

Contact Vicky Gits at vicky@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Check www.CanyonCourier.com for updates.