A Jefferson County jury returned guilty verdicts in the child sexual assault case against Zachary Vincent Myers, DOB: 3-3-94, on December 11, 2017. Following five days of trial, the jury found Myers guilty of nine counts for stalking a young teen he met in a social media site and snatching her off of a hiking trail where he sexually assaulted her.In October 2015, the 14-year-old teen was walking her dog on a hiking trail along Bear Creek when Myers came up behind her. He put his hand over his mouth, grabbed her, and dragged her off the trail into the brush, and sexually assaulted her as she struggled and screamed.The 21-year-old Myers met the teen in September 2015 through a popular site called KIK. Myers tracked down her cell phone number and they began texting. He told the teen he was 16. At first the conversation was casual as Myers tried to establish a friendship. However, the conversation became sexual when he both asked for and sent naked pictures.The teen testified that immediately after the assault, Myers texted her and said he’d had a great time and hoped they could do it again soon. He continued to text her in the following months. The teen deleted her KIK app and tried to block his number, but he was able to get through. She repeatedly asked Myers to stop contacting her. He told her he loved her, and that he would kill himself if she wouldn’t see him. He threatened to cut or shoot himself. He sent her a grisly photo of an arm that had been severely cut as well as a photo of himself with a shotgun in his mouth. “Myers manipulated this vulnerable child into believing that it was up to her whether he lived or died, and if he died she was afraid it would be her fault,” said District Attorney Pete Weir.“The child did not immediately report this terrible situation or the assault,” said DA Weir, “Unfortunately, sex assault victims often do not report for many reasons. In this case, the child had been groomed, manipulated, threatened, and stalked. And Myers convinced her it was her fault. This is a particularly heinous act.”The jury heard that in April 2016, law enforcement officers from Evans, Colorado contacted this victim after investigating a similar case involving Zachary Myers as the suspect and a young, teenage victim. During their investigation, they found the Lakewood victim’s phone number in Myer’s cell phone, as well as texts in which the victim alluded to the sexual assault and her fear of the defendant. The Lakewood Police Department began their investigation of this case at that time. There are similar cases pending in both Weld and Denver counties.Myers was found guilty of Sexual Assault – w/force(F3); Sexual Exploitation Child (F3); Sex Assault Child (F4); Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (F4); Enticement of a Child (F4); two counts of Stalking (F5); False Imprisonment (M2), and 3rd Degree Assault (M1). Myers’ sentencing has been set for January 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s). A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.