Richard Jama, nurse's aide, accused of sex assault on 71-year-old
Back in 2011, Richard Jama was at featured in a Denver Post article labeled "Proud Father Embraces His Responsibility" -- a headline far more positive than the ones this certified nurses aide is inspiring now.
More photos below.
Jama has been charged with two counts of sexual assault relating to a nursing-home resident, age 71. Details about his two very different visits to the public square below.
The aforementioned Post piece, by ex-columnist Bill Johnson, recounts the parenting challenges faced by Jama, a native of Liberia who reportedly immigrated to the U.S. around the turn of the century.
According to the article, Jama had a child with a girlfriend he never married. A year or two later, he discovered that the baby had been placed in foster care partly because her mother had claimed Jama was out of the country and no longer in contact.
Rather than simply accepting this judgement, Jama went through the system, completing a court-ordered parenting program and attending other sessions whose time demands were so great that he's said to have lost two nursing jobs as a result. But he persevered and ultimately won full custody of the girl.
"I have done nothing special," he told Johnson. "You bring a baby into the world, I was taught, it is your responsibility to care for her every day. It was never about me. It was always about my daughter."
Richard Jama in a photo from his Facebook page.
The Post told Jama's story again the following June in the context of a report about how child welfare agencies were working to get more fathers to provide their kids with safe homes. The second article reveals new information about why the girl had initially wound up in foster care: She'd been abused by her mother's boyfriend.
Now, of course, Jama's the one being accused of abusive behavior.
On April 6, according to an arrest affidavit on view below, officers responded to the Spearly Center, located on the 2200 block of West 29th Avenue, on a report of a sexual assault. There, they met with the 71-year-old victim, who is nonverbal as a result of suffering a traumatic brain injury. Nonetheless, the woman was able to indicate that Jama had befriended her by providing cigarettes against the center's rules.
The next section of the report is blacked out, but an interview with a housekeeper provides more insight into why suspicions were cast upon Jama. She told investigators that she had knocked on the door of the room and saw him standing in front of the kneeling woman with his pants unzipped -- and even after he fastened his trousers, an erection was visible.
The Spearly Center, as seen in a Google Maps image.
A later interview with the woman's son provided more information. His mom had allegedly told him that in addition to the incident overseen by the housekeeper, there'd been an act of intercourse the previous month. The son also mentioned cigarettes, raising the prospect that Jama was trading smokes for sex.
The Denver District Attorney's Office has now hit Jama with two counts of sexual assault involving an at-risk adult. Jama is free on $60,000 bond, but he's scheduled to be back in court Friday, April 25, to be formally advised of the charges against him.
Look below to see the arrest affidavit, followed by Jama's complete booking photo.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa February 13: "Dennis Hanson's sex-assault trial inspires fight against culture that tells men rape is okay."