Colorado Resort Hired Unregistered Sex Offender
Vail Resorts, a company that runs four ski resorts in Colorado and numerous resorts in other parts of the country, failed to flag an employee guilty of a sex offense.
Per a report from The Denver Post, Vail Resorts in Keystone, Colorado briefly employed August Mussat starting last fall. Mussat, 39, had previously been convicted of molesting a four-year-old girl in the state of Illinois. The conviction occurred when Mussat was 24 years old and resulted in an eight-year prison sentence for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. It was a tier 3 sex offense, which means that Mussat must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
After he left prison, coverage notes, Mussat moved to Iowa, where he would have been required to register as a sex offender. He never did, leading the Iowa Sex Offender Task Force to issue a warrant for his arrest in September 2016. In November, Mussat moved to Keystone and got a job at Vail Resorts. Specifically, he worked at a Noodles & Company restaurant within the resort.
Reports indicate that the warrant for failing to register as a sex offender was not the only reason Mussat was wanted by police. He was also facing felony charges for cannabis manufacturing and possession filed in Morgan County, Illinois.
Vail Resorts did not flag either Mussat’s predatory history or the warrants out for his arrest, reports allege. Even if Mussat had registered, the resort would not have known about his past: neither Vail Resorts nor Noodles & Company ran a background check of any kind on Mussat. In a statement, Vail Resorts said the company does conduct employee background checks, but only for employees who interact with customers. Since Mussat worked in the back of the kitchen as a dishwasher, the resort did not run a background check on him.
Per coverage, the statement from Vail Resorts noted that the company “place[s] the highest value on the safety of our guests, employees and the communities in which we operate.” The company has announced no changes to its background check policies for personnel.
Mussat failed to register as a sex offender in the state of Colorado, reports note. The U.S. Marshals tracked him down after receiving a tip about his whereabouts. He is now facing charges for failing to register as a sex offender, which could result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.