A hearing for an Aspen Music Festival and School teacher who police say attempted to sexually assault a piano student was continued Monday after his defense team requested a more detailed explanation of the accusations against him.
William John Nauman, 42, was arrested this summer for criminal attempt to commit a sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a class-four felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, also a class-four felony. He is out on a $5,000 bond and living with his parents in Maryland.
Neatly dressed in a black suit, the music teacher and accomplished concert pianist appeared in court with his Aspen lawyers Lauren Wolpin and John Van Ness. Nauman smiled often and looked at ease as he consulted with his attorneys and communicated with his family and friends who sat behind him.
Nauman's attorneys argued that he has not been informed of the exact conduct that led to the charges and which of his specific acts constitute the factual basis of the sexual assault charge. Wolpin requested that prosecutors provide Nauman with "a bill of particulars," or a written itemization of the claims against him, and Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols agreed to have it to them by the end of this month. A preliminary hearing has been rescheduled for Jan. 10.
But at that hearing the charges against Nauman could be even more severe.
Nichols said she believes that the music teacher may not have merely attempted to sexually assault his student but that a sexual assault might have actually occurred. Judge James Boyd instructed Nichols to decide whether to add and/or change the charges against Nauman no later than Nov. 30.
An arrest affidavit accuses Nauman of making the unwanted sexual advances toward a male 17-year-old student from Denver who stayed in the teacher's Hunter Creek apartment in August to prepare for an important concert in Breckenridge. The report alleges that Nauman repeatedly kissed the boy's cheek, rubbed his inner thighs and made several highly inappropriate sexual comments.
The teacher is also accused of taking the boy for a night on the town at the Crystal Palace, Cooper Street Pier and the Caribou Club and offering to buy him drinks. Nauman also coerced the boy, who is not gay, to pretend to be his boyfriend during an unsuccessful attempt to get him past the bouncers at Eric's Bar, the report said. The boy allegedly grew so scared of Nauman that he locked his bedroom door at night and cut his stay in Aspen short.
A recorded interview between Aspen detective Chris Womack and the teenaged accuser describing Nauman's alleged improprieties was given to the defense team Oct. 6, but the attorneys said the audiotape is impossible to hear.
"The copy of the tape we got was barely audible and largely inaudible," Van Ness told the judge. "We all agree it would be beneficial to get that tape enhanced."
Nichols acknowledged the tape's audio can be challenging but she said she heard the interview clearly once she found the right machine.
Wolpin added that she made "a painstaking" effort to try to discern what is on the audiotape and tried playing it on several different machines. Now she is planning to send it to a business that specializes in enhancing poor recordings.
Judge Boyd granted Nauman's request to continue staying at his parents' house in Maryland. Additionally, even though Nauman is not allowed to have contact with persons under the age of 18, Boyd gave him permission to attend church where children will no doubt be present.
Troy Hooper can be reached at email@example.com.