ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Content warning: This story involves allegations of systematic sexual abuse of multiple children.
A man who has worked as a volunteer firefighter, trucker and karaoke business operator faces more than 40 felony counts amid accusations he systematically sexually abused children over two decades – allegations that were reported to authorities multiple times over the years but never thoroughly investigated, 9Wants to Know has learned.
Two women are also facing felony sexual assault charges in the case, accused of being involved in the abuse.
Some of that sexual abuse involved their own children, according to court documents obtained by 9NEWS.
Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies arrested Allan Richard Long, 51, on Sept. 7 after a previous investigation by the department – which was closed in 2007 – was reopened.
On Thursday, Ginger Delgado, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said a review of records from 2007 showed that the case may have stalled back then because some of the victims were very young and unwilling to disclose information. Also, key witnesses did not respond to the investigator's attempts to contact them, Delgado said.
The investigator felt, at the time, that there wasn't enough evidence to file criminal charges and deactivated the case pending contact with those witnesses, Delgado said.
The case was revived this year by an alert supervisor in the evidence bureau. The 2007 allegations were nearing the statute of limitations, and a decision needed to be made about releasing or destroying evidence in the case.
The evidence supervisor read reports related to the case and notified a detective.
“It appeared to her and her team that more investigation could have been done,” a detective wrote in an arrest affidavit for Culler.
For example, according to the affidavit, no investigators ever questioned Allan Long or Culler.
Prosecutors have charged Long with 41 separate charges – 20 counts of sexual assault on a child as part of a pattern of abuse; six counts of sexual contact – coercion of a child; five counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust; five counts of sexual assault on a child as part of a pattern of abuse; three counts of sexual exploitation of a child; one count of sexual contact with no consent by force or threat; and one count of sexual assault – overcoming a victim’s will.
He remained behind bars Thursday in the Arapahoe County jail on $1 million bail.
Martha “Loni” Long, 52, faces four counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, one count of aggravated incest and one count of sexual exploitation of a child.
She and Allan Long were married at one time, according to court documents.
Martha Long was being held Thursday on $100,000 bail.
Rona Culler, 55, faces 10 counts of sexual assault on a child as part of a pattern of abuse, five counts of aggravated incest, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child.
She was being held Thursday on $1 million bail.
Court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know describe her as a girlfriend of Long’s.
Colin Bresee, Allan Long’s attorney, told 9NEWS the allegations “are very troubling” and he is waiting for prosecutors to provide additional evidence that has been gathered so he can assess the case.
Martha Long’s attorney, Shannon Roy, and Culler’s attorney, Danielle Touart, both declined to comment when reached by 9NEWS.
The abuse started as far back as 2001 and continued until at least 2014 and involved at least seven victims ranging in ages from 4 to 17. One alleged victim told investigators she was sexually assaulted from childhood until age 21.
“It doesn’t matter how long ago this happened," said Dr. Max Wachtel, a forensic psychologist and 9NEWS expert. "These were all vulnerable kids who were taken advantage of by people in authority -- people who were supposed to be there to help them."
In a press release issued after 9NEWS began asking about the case, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) said Thursday, “there could be many more” victims – and that the abuse could have started before 2001.
Arapahoe County sheriff’s officials encouraged anyone who knows anything about Allan Long to contact investigator Andrew Fehringer at 720-874-4065 or email@example.com
The court documents detail one instance after another where child sex abuse allegations involving Allan Long were brought to the attention of authorities – but never thoroughly investigated:
- In July 2004, one of the alleged victims told her grandmother she’d been “molested” by Allan Long. That same week, the alleged abuse was reported to the Wyoming Department of Family Services, but according to court documents “the abuse was not reported to law enforcement.”
- In July 2007, the biological father of an alleged victim reported Allan Long to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department. An investigator worked on the case, but according to court documents that detective “appeared to take no further action in this case, based on his reports.”
- In May 2009, June 2010, August 2011, January 2012, July 2013, and February 2015, various people reported Allan Long or Martha Long – or both – to the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services. It is not clear in some cases what the reports entailed, but at least one of them involved an allegation that Allan Long had child pornography, including pictures showing girls as young as 4 or 5 years old.
- In February 2015, two allegations of child sex abuse involving Allan Long were forwarded to the Colorado Springs Police Department, which investigated the case before it was “eventually closed inactive after they were unable to contact Allan (Long).”
When asked for comment, the Wyoming Department of Family Services said that under state law "any information relating to investigations/child protection cases is confidential" and therefore they "cannot provide any specific information related to any abuse or neglect investigation because of the statutory confidentiality restrictions."
Arapahoe County Human Services responded to an inquiry and said they "cannot comment on past and current cases in Human Services."
"According to the Colorado Children’s Code, we must protect information in cases involving children and families who have been or are served in Child Protection Services," the department went on to say in its statement.
Colorado Springs police Lt. James Sokolik said his department's investigation of Allen Long and Martha Long was ended because it didn't have jurisdiction. He said the complaints were referred to both the Castle Rock and Aurora police departments in August 2015.
Sokolik said consideration will be given to filing charges now that more information has come to light.
It's not clear how Aurora and Castle Rock detectives handled the complaint -- they have not yet responded to questions from 9NEWS.
"Whatever happened, they were told that they weren’t important," Wachtel said of the alleged victims.
Court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know detail a horrific series of incidents – some provided by alleged victims who are now adults.
One alleged victim told investigators that she was molested “every two days” for a year. Another said that at times when she was being molested by Allan Long while Martha Long watched.
Culler, according to court documents, admitted to molesting children but said that Allan Long “coerced” her.
“That makes me sound like a, a voluntary partner in this, but he would get me drunk and then we would go to bed and he’d have the kids come in,” she told investigators, according to court documents.
Contact 9Wants to Know investigator Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-871-1862.
Anyone who believes a child is in immediate danger, call 911. Anyone who has concerns that a child is being abused or neglected but is not in immediate danger, can call Arapahoe County Human Services 24/7 hotline at 303-636-1750 or the statewide hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.
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