A Texas man was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting two women in La Plata County, with both women giving similar accounts of the alleged rapes even though they don’t know each other and have never met, according to an arrest affidavit.
Brian Harbin Hunt, 51, of Midland, Texas, was formally advised of possible charges Monday in La Plata County Court. If convicted, he faces eight to 16 years in prison.
Hunt was arrested in June in Texas on the sexual assault allegations and has been awaiting extradition to La Plata County. He appeared Monday in La Plata County Court via a Webex link. He is currently being housed at the La Plata County Jail.
Formal filing of charges is scheduled for later this week.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office has filed two cases against Hunt: One for an alleged sexual assault that occurred Nov. 22, 2022, and another that occurred Jan. 10, according to the affidavit.
In the November 2022 incident, Hunt is accused of striking a woman from behind on the right shoulder and then pinning her to a bed while he sexually assaulted her.
In the Jan. 10 incident, Hunt is suspected of giving a woman an unknown substance to smoke and then sexually assaulting her while she resisted, according to a nine-page affidavit.
Sexual assault services organization (SASO) hotline: 247-5400
- Prevention education programs.
- 24/7 hotline.
Women’s Resource Center: 247-1242
- Computer access.
Southwest Safehouse: 259-5443
- Safe housing for survivors of intimate partner violence.
Colorado Legal Services: 247-0266
- Civil legal services.
Hunt occasionally travels to the Durango area to do construction work, according to the arrest affidavit.
Public defender Scott Van Zandt said Hunt “vehemently” denies both accusations and looks forward to addressing the charges through the judicial process. He asked that bail be set at $10,000 to $15,000.
Deputy District Attorney Felecia Charles asked that bail be set at $250,000 in both cases, saying Hunt has a lengthy criminal history, a history of drug use and is a potential flight risk.
His criminal history includes stalking, possession of controlled substances, theft, false identification, possession of drugs and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, she said. He has about 10 incidents of failure to appear for previous court hearings dating back to 2002, Charles said.
She said Hunt has bragged about raping women after giving them drugs.
La Plata County Judge Reid Stewart set bail at $50,000 cash in both cases out of concern for community safety.