GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A former youth corrections officer at the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center was arrested Sunday on multiple child sex charges relating to his alleged rape of two teen inmates.
Brian Tate, 30, faces two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust (class 3 felony), one count of sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust (class 4 felony), three counts of sexual assault on a child – pattern of abuse, one count of criminal attempt of unlawful sexual contact, and six counts of first-degree official misconduct.
The first 10 counts listed are felonies, while the official misconduct charges are class 2 misdemeanors.
Tate allegedly sexually assaulted at least two girls at the youth facility this year. The alleged incidents were reported to the director of the Grand Mesa Division of Youth Services in late July.
When the allegations were first reported, Tate was immediately put on administrative leave. He was fired shortly afterward, according to authorities.
In separate incidents that allegedly happened this year, Tate is accused of touching the two girls inappropriately under their clothing, and raping one of the girls.
According to Tate’s arrest affidavit, the two victims had told a fellow inmate about the incidents, who then reported them to authorities.
Both alleged incidents took place over a period of time. According to the affidavit, Tate would start by asking girls who were having “bad days” for hugs, and would eventually move on to grabbing their backsides while hugging them.
According to the affidavit, Tate took opportunities to get the two victims alone on separate occasions and in locations at the corrections center that cameras couldn’t capture.
In one of the incidents, Tate took one of the victims out to an area where the center housed dogs for a support program, grabbed the victim, kissed her several times, and put his hand down the front of her pants.
In another incident, a different victim—who was asked by Tate to help hand out snacks to the other inmates—was brought into a stairwell that couldn’t be seen by cameras and was raped by Tate after extensive groping, according to the affidavit.
Police also interviewed other inmates, who had alleged that he had asked them to undress in front of him at times, and who said they had heard about the alleged incidents between Tate and the two girls.
When he was interviewed by police, Tate denied any wrongdoing. But the inmates told officers that he had threatened them if they told on him, and at one point said he’d kill himself if anyone found out.
Tate was in the U.S. Marine Corps for 8 years before he started working as a contract worker at the corrections center’s dog rehab program. He eventually became a full-time corrections officer last December.
When he was interviewed by police in early August, Tate said he had an infant child, but that he and his wife were separated.
In the same interview, he blamed the “bipolar and angry” inmates, who he said didn’t like him because he “consistently holds them accountable,” for fabricating the alleged sexual assaults.
But after interviews with several more corrections officers, and after reviewing more jail surveillance video, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office was able to file to obtain a warrant for Tate’s arrest on Aug. 22.
Tate turned himself in on Sunday, and saw his bond set at $100,000 Monday at his first court appearance.
The Colorado Division of Youth Services says it is cooperating with the investigation and is offering the victims and anyone else involved counseling.
“The Division has a zero-tolerance standard for any incidence of sexual misconduct,” said director Anders Jacobson.
The sheriff’s office says the case remains under investigation, and asks anyone else who may be a potential victim or know of further instances of abuse to contact its witness tip line at 970-244-3526.