Officer in sex case has criminal history

Cop received deferred judgment

Cortez Police officer Ryan Cater, currently under investigation in a sex case, has been on the wrong side of the law before.

According to Montezuma County Court records, Carter pleaded guilty to harassment as an act of domestic violence on Oct. 16, 2007. The guilty plea was withdrawn, and the Class 3 misdemeanor charge dismissed on Dec. 18, 2009, after a two-year deferred judgment and sentence. He joined the police force in August 2011.

Contained in a Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office two-page narrative from Aug. 29, 2007, Carter’s former common-law wife called 911 that morning from his residence on County Road G to report that Carter had head-butted and shoved her to the ground. Carter, then age 22, denied head-butting the then-20-year-old victim.

“Ryan Carter told me that he got angry and shoved (the victim) to the ground,” Sheriff’s Deputy Zachary Stein wrote in the report.

Carter was arrested and transported to jail on charges of domestic violence, harassment and third-degree assault. Stein reported that there were “no visible marks” evident to support the claim of head-butting.

Carter’s deferred judgment and sentence included 12 months of supervised probation and domestic-violence evaluation and treatment. According to court records, he initially failed to complete the evaluation, but agreed to have the deferred judgment and sentence extended for 12 months to give him time to complete his evaluation. He underwent an evaluation in Colorado.

Currently in custody on a $100,000 bond and under suspicion of sexual contact on a minor by a person in a position of trust, a Class 3 felony, Carter, now 29, is likely to have charges against him read at a hearing on Wednesday, July 23, according to prosecutors. A Class 3 felony carries a maximum 24-year prison sentence and $750,000 fine.

An arrest warrant alleges that Carter had three sexual encounters with the now-15-year-old girl between June 19 and July 7. Carter has denied the allegations.

Carter was arrested on July 11 and placed on administrative leave, said Cortez Police Lt. Andy Brock.