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Lyft driver found not guilty in Boulder sexual assault trial

A Boulder jury acquitted Tigistu Ergo on all counts after he was charged in a 2018 sexual assault on a passenger.
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BOULDER, Colo. — A jury found a Lyft driver not guilty last week on all charges related to the 2018 sexual assault of a passenger, according to court records.

Tigistu Ergo, 29, was acquitted in Boulder District Court on charges of second-degree kidnapping and sexual assault from an incident in the early morning hours of Aug. 8, 2018, records show.

His attorneys, with Krizman Law, said that Ergo maintained his innocence from Day One and that he testified in his defense at his trial, according to a news release.

"Mr. Ergo is relieved beyond words that this ordeal is over," his attorneys said in the release. "He is also grateful to the members of the Boulder community who were willing to search for and see the truth. He asks for peace and privacy as he continues to heal from the trauma of being falsely accused."

His accuser told Boulder Police that she had been drinking with friends in downtown Denver and that a Lyft driver had picked her up at a bar.

She told police that the driver "solicited her" for sex but was unsure whether any sexual contact occurred before the driver dropped her off at her boyfriend's apartment in Boulder. She also said her phone, wallet and keys were missing.

Ergo "appeared shocked" when police told him the woman had reported "some type of sexual interaction" and responded with, "I have a girlfriend." He thought police were contacting him because the woman had lost her phone, according to the affidavit in the case.

A ride log that Lyft provided to Boulder Police showed that Ergo picked up the woman around 10:17 p.m. Aug. 7, 2018, and the ride lasted about 30 minutes and ended in Denver, according to the affidavit.

Ergo did not pick up another passenger until 1:08 a.m. on Aug. 8, and that was his last ride until midday on Aug. 8, according to the affidavit.

There was no documentation that Ergo traveled to Boulder, although the victim's boyfriend said she was dropped off in a vehicle that matches the description of Ergo's vehicle, the affidavit says.

This story contains previous reporting by 9News reporter Janet Oravetz.

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