Jovan Melton, Colorado House Democrat, twice charged with domestic violence

Jovan Melton, Colorado House Democrat, twice charged with domestic violence

  09 Oct 2018

Boulder police arrested Jovan Melton in December 1999 on charges of trespassing and harassment related to domestic violence.

A Democratic leader in the Colorado House was arrested twice in the past two decades on charges related to domestic violence involving two girlfriends, according to police reports, court records and interviews conducted by The Denver Post.

Boulder police arrested Jovan Melton in December 1999 on charges of trespassing and harassment related to domestic violence, according to Boulder police records. Melton is now an Aurora representative and Democratic majority whip.

In 2008, Denver police arrested Melton on a misdemeanor assault charge that was also related to domestic violence, according to court documents.

The Aurora Democrat, then 20, pleaded guilty to harassment in the 1999 case. He received a 12-month deferred sentence, according to the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. The 2008 case was dismissed.

Melton flatly denied any wrongdoing in both cases in interviews with The Denver Post this week.

The 1999 arrest involved an incident with his then-girlfriend while both were students at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Denver Post spoke to the woman and confirmed her account but is withholding her name due to the nature of the charges.

The night started with a dinner at the woman’s apartment, where the two began arguing. According to the police report, Melton went home but then returned at a later time. The woman told police he used a set of her keys to enter the apartment after banging on the door. Melton said she let him back inside.

The report alleges Melton shouted derogatory expletives at her, “grabbed her around the throat” and forced her onto the couch once he was back inside the apartment. A neighbor dialed 911 because she heard a loud argument and “four to five slaps skin upon skin,” according to the police report. The neighbor also told police she could hear the woman shouting “let go of my neck” and “get off me.”

The neighbor and another witness interviewed by police that night corroborated the woman’s version of events, but the police officer wrote that he “could not find any marks, bruises or indications that such actions had occurred.”

Melton denies ever being violent with the woman and pointed to that line in the report as evidence of his innocence.

“I don’t remember either of us using any profanity,” Melton said. “I believe she slapped me twice, and the most I ever touched her was to move her hands off of me.”

It was not the only time that the relationship became physically violent, according to information from police and court documents and interviews. The woman also told police Melton previously knocked her down and broke her tailbone in two places — an injury for which she sought medical attention.

The night of the incident, the woman’s then-suitemate told police she could “recall at least three to five prior episodes” and that she had heard Melton hit her in the past, but she had “asked her not to say anything.”

The Boulder police officer noted the woman’s reluctance to talk, saying she didn’t believe the police could help her. After talking with a victim’s advocate, however, she decided to request a permanent restraining order. In that request to the court, she said Melton sexually assaulted her twice and broke her tailbone in two places. A judge granted the restraining order.

Melton has never faced any charges related to a sexual assault allegation. He told The Denver Post that the woman’s broken tailbone was the result of a consensual sexual encounter, and the reason he didn’t fight the restraining order was because he wanted to be done with the relationship.

“I’m not a violent individual,” Melton said. “Those claims are just untrue and didn’t happen.”

Melton’s second arrest, in August 2008, involved a different girlfriend. He said the couple started to argue while driving back from a party along Interstate 70. The woman, who was driving, crashed into a guard rail. She told police Melton hit her and that’s why the accident happened, Melton told The Post. He was arrested on charges of misdemeanor assault, and his mother posted his bail the next morning.

“I don’t know if the officer misinterpreted the fight,” Melton said. “She corrected that story and got it dismissed.”

The charges were dismissed, according to court records. The woman declined to comment.

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