Man charged with attempted murder, sexual assault in Auraria campus attack

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James Holmes, arrested for attempt sexual assault on Auraria Campus.

James Holmes, arrested for attempt sexual assault on Auraria Campus.

DENVER — A 54-year-old man accused of trying to sexually assault a woman on the Auraria campus earlier this month was formally charged Thursday by Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.

James Alphonso Holmes faces five counts, including first-degree attempted murder, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree attempted assault, the district attorney’s office announced. Holmes also faces two counts of crime of violence, which are sentence enhancers.

The alleged attack happened about 2 p.m. May 9 in the West Classroom building. Police say the suspect grabbed the woman and pushed her to the floor, where he strangled her with a belt and tried to rape her.

Holmes was arrested Wednesday.

Holmes remains jailed on a $300,000 bond. He is due in court Friday morning for a second advisement.