LA GRANDE — The Union County District Attorney’s Office seeks to join two public indecency and stalking cases involving the same defendant, Denver Lane Knowlton.
According to court records, the state has accused Knowlton, 31, of Caldwell, Idaho, of masturbating in public in front of a woman on March 28 in La Grande, and of following her in a vehicle, following other females, including children, and of trying to entice a girl into a sexual act. The state charged Knowlton in one case with a single count of public indecency and four counts of stalking and in the second case charged him with one count each of stalking, public indecency, luring a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Circuit Judge Wes Williams on Wednesday will consider the state’s motion to consolidate the cases. But Knowlton’s defense attorney, Michelle Bartov of La Grande, is asking the court to deny the consolidation. She also wants the court to break up most of the charges into separate cases.
Bartov in court documents asserted “Knowlton stands falsely accused” of the crimes and argued the court should create separate cases so her client could get fair treatment.
If the charges were bundled under one case, she argued, the jury could ignore Knowlton’s claims of innocence with so many accusers telling similar stories. Those accusations, Bartov asserted, “will inevitably seem more credible when grouped together than when evaluated on their own merits.”
Deputy district attorney Ryan Rodighiero in his motion to consolidate argued the cases involve the same defendant doing the actions on the same day with the only difference being there are different victims.
Court records also show Knowlton remains free on a release agreement and can appear for the 9 a.m. hearing via phone.