Leadville Racing coach Bruce Kelly was recently acquitted of a harassment charge in Lake County District Court, following an August incident at Rockies Rock Adventure Camp.
On Aug. 1, Rockies Rock Camp Director Tim Best contacted Sheriff Amy Reyes to report an incident involving Kelly and Reyes’ son at Colorado Mountain College. According to Reyes’ written report of the incident, Best called her “as a parent and as the sheriff.”
According to the incident report, two Rockies Rock counselors, Rebecca Kohn and Kelly Fernee, told the sheriff that Kelly had cut down a tire swing while her son was on it. The counselors also reported that Kelly had yelled at a group of campers after he found the children playing with his bike tires.
Kohn and Fernee reported the same allegations in written Lake County Sheriff’s Office witness statements. Though they both stated that Kelly cut a child down from a tire swing, they did not specify that Reyes’ son was the one involved.
According to Reyes’ report, none of the young campers interviewed by LCSO reported that Kelly had cut a child out of a tree. Reyes’ son also denied the occurrence.
Several Leadville Racing team members, who said they were nearby for the incident, penned statements refuting Kohn and Fernee’s accounts. The statements were not collected by LCSO as Reyes said the team members were “not part of the incident.”
That same day, Reyes and LCSO Deputy Sam Reynolds showed up at Kelly’s residence. Kelly was not home and Reynolds called the coach to report that he was being charged with child abuse.
Kelly denied the allegations. By nightfall, the abuse charge was reduced to harassment.
“The child abuse charge was dropped down because one of the child witnesses did not remember the incident the way it was told by the instructors,” Reyes told the Herald.
Kelly attended various court dates throughout the fall after he refused a plea bargain. He was prohibited from coaching on CMC property because of the criminal charge.
In November, Kelly passed a polygraph test and the harassment charge was dropped.
Later that month, Kelly and his wife Stacy asked District Attorney Bruce Brown to file a formal complaint against Reyes for how LCSO handled the case. Brown refused.
“My office believes that the charges were initially supported by probable cause and that the matter was dismissed when we determined that despite initial proof being present, it was a case in which we were unlikely to prevail at trial,” Brown told Bruce and Stacy Kelly in an email.
Kelly was allowed to resume coaching on CMC property after the harassment charge was dropped.