Man convicted of child sex assault on loose after failing to appear at sentencing

WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Police have initiated a nationwide search for a Colorado man convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 2015. Police fear the repeat offender, who never showed up to his sentencing hearing, could strike again.

Timothy Chavez, 28, has a lengthy criminal past and is looking at a prison sentence, the Westminster Police Department said.

“The charges that he’s been convicted of are extremely serious, and he does have some prior charges that are pretty serious as well,” police investigator Kate Kazell said.

Police said Chavez was wearing a court-ordered ankle bracelet in January 2015 for a previous sex crime while working at a C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery on West 120th Avenue near Huron Street in Westminster.

That’s where he targeted one of his co-workers, according to prosecutors. He assaulted a 16-year-old co-worker behind the restaurant, they said.

“He forcibly pushed her into a more secluded area that was in the alleyway and continued to assault her there,” Kazell said.

Chavez’s victim eventually got away, but police said Chavez went after her -- running past a nearby Hooters restaurant.

A security camera at Hooters captured the pursuit in a video police released Thursday. The footage was key evidence leading to multiple convictions, but Chavez never showed up for his sentencing hearing.

“We’re very worried about him offending again, perhaps hurting another child or victimizing someone else,” Kazell said.

Chavez, already a sex offender from a previous conviction, is facing punishment for kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault by force and harassment.

He is known to have family and friends in Westminster, but police believe he could be anywhere. A nationwide extradition warrant is active for his arrest.

“Crimes against children are probably one of the worst things we deal with in society, and we really want to get this guy picked up,” Kazell said.

As of late Thursday, there were still questions as to why Chavez was not behind bars before his sentencing hearing.

Police call the felon dangerous and urge the public not to approach him if anyone sees him.

Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.