Oct 31

Rare Occurrence: Media Publishes Not-Guilty in Denver Paper

A newspaper printed a not-guilty verdict in the Denver paper. Let me tell you a story. A woman is falsely accused of a serious sex offense against a child. She is charged, and her case goes to trial. The media publishes her picture along with the accusations, making it seem like she actually committed the crime she has been charged with. With the help of a passionate criminal defense attorney, the woman is found not-guilty at trial; her accuser made up the allegations. You would think the media would publish news of the not-guilty verdict. At the very least, you would think they would remove her picture from the article about the accusations – she is innocent, after all. Unfortunately, the media doesn’t work this way in Adams, Douglas, and El Paso County. Nothing further was published, and despite multiple emails being sent, the woman’s picture was never removed. This is normal. This is what our culture does. They become obsessed with the drama and intrigue of a terrible crime, but they don’t care to follow up and publish the truth, and destroy lives in the process. The other day, I came across an article I hadn’t seen before – the media actually broke the norm and published a not-guilty verdict for a gymnastics coach accused of a serious sex offense. I was shocked. Let’s look at the details of this rare occurrence in the media.

Let me tell you a story…

Gymnastics Coach Receives Not-Guilty Verdict

Last year, a gymnastics coach was charged with a myriad of serious offenses, including Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust as a Pattern of Abuse, Sexual Assault on a Child, and Unlawful Sexual Contact. These crimes are some of the most serious in Colorado, and they result in life prison sentences. The gymnastics coach’s face was published all over the news in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County, and across Colorado.

The media assumes people are guilty from the minute they publish an article.

People’s first reactions are to believe what is written and write off the person as a pervert. After all, how could the media be wrong? This is a terrible response to sex crime accusations. Our criminal justice system is set up around the principle that a defendant is innocent until they are proven guilty. Why doesn’t the media operate under the same standard? Last week while browsing the news, I came across another article about the gymnastics coach. I witnessed a rare occurrence – the media published that the coach was found not-guilty at trial. They included his photo. The article itself left a lot to be desired, stating the original facts of the case which made it sound as if the gymnastics coach had actually committed the crimes, but was somehow found innocent at trial. The media should have focused on the fact he was found not-guilty at trial. In other words – a jury found he didn’t commit the crimes of which he was accused. It was the least the media could do. The poor man lost his job when he was accused. He has to put his life back together after the accusations and his trial.

Why You Need a Lawyer for a Sex Crimes Trial

If you have been charged with a sex offense, you need to work with an outstanding sex crimes defense attorney. You need a friend by your side – an advocate who believes your side of the story and will defend it for you in the courtroom. The media won’t publish the truth – they’ll publish what sells and creates buzz. The District Attorney isn’t looking for the truth – they are paid to prosecute you and promoted for guilty verdicts. Juries aren’t trained to look for the truth. This is why you need a skilled criminal lawyer in the courtroom with you. The attorneys at the O’Malley Law Office are trained to instruct the jury to look for the truth and do the right thing when it comes to the falsely accused. Don’t stand alone in the courtroom. Contact a lawyer who will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case. Here at the O’Malley Law Office, we fight to win.

If you or a loved one has been falsely accused of a sex offense, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Oct 29

John Grisham: Not all Men Watching Child Porn are Pedophiles

Photo of John GrishamJohn Grisham has an unpopular opinion about people who watch child porn: He doesn’t think all of them are pedophiles. Now, before you throw up your hands in disgust and burn all your John Grisham paperbacks, take a step back and listen to his opinion. We happen to believe the same thing. We have defended many good people who have been charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-6-403 in Denver, Arapahoe, and Douglas County who receive unjust harsh sentences for a mistake.

John Grisham’s Unpopular Belief about Sex Offenders

Author John Grisham spoke up about sex offenders, the prison system, and illicit photos of children in a recent interview. He says, “America is wrongly jailing far too many people for viewing child pornography,”  and that judges have “gone crazy,” “locking up far too many people.” Grisham goes on to say:

“Prisons are filled with guys my age. Sixty-year old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child. But they go online one night and start surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”John Grisham

Now, once again – don’t get worked up about this opinion and write it off. Grisham says he has no sympathy for “real pedophiles,” but doesn’t think someone who possesses sexual images of underage kids should receive such a harsh sentence. And, Grisham is right. Our prisons are full to the brim.

There are 2.2 million people imprisoned in the U.S.

Prisons in the U.S. are Full and Getting Fuller

There is a shortage of treatment providers for sex offenders in Colorado.

Currently, there are 2.2 million people in jail or prison in the United States. When you break down the numbers, that is more than 750 out of every 100,000 people. In Britain, there are only 154 people imprisoned per 100,000. That number exploded as a result of campaigns from special rights groups who don’t stop to think before they promote their agenda. Since 2004, the sentence for people who possess child pornography has almost doubled – from 54 months (in 2004), to 95 months (by 2010). In Adams, El Paso, and Jefferson County and across Colorado, the possession of illicit sexual images of children ranges from a class 6 to a class 4 felony. The possible prsion sentence is up to 6 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. In addition to the prison sentence, a person convicted for possessing child porn must register as a sex offender and go through treatment. The Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) oversees treatment for all sex offenders. There is a shortage of treatment providers in Colorado, however. Many people sit in prison awaiting their treatment before they can be released.

Why You Need a Lawyer if You’ve Been Arrested

If you have been arrested because child pornography was found on your computer, you need to contact an understanding criminal defense lawyer immediately. The police and criminal justice system are ruthless when it comes to children and sex crimes. In contrast, the exceptional attorneys at our office understand the importance of getting help for sexual addiction, as opposed to simply sitting in prison. We work hard to make sure our clients get the help they need while getting them the best possible outcome in their criminal case.

 

If you or a loved one has been charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney a the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Photo By Scott Brenner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Oct 27

Sex Offender Laws Lead to Vigilantism and Harassment in Denver

Current sex offender laws lead to vigilantism in Denver. When people hear the words “sex offender,” the sex offender registration program comes to mind. Many people have checked their neighborhood to see if any sex offenders live in the area. But, many people don’t stop to think about whether or not the sex offender registry really works. Many people are offended when I suggest this: “How dare you question it! The registry is there to protect the public and our children!” I often hear outbursts just like this in Denver, Jefferson, and Arapahoe County. It is important to question the laws of our country. As a skilled sex crimes defense lawyer, I have many clients who would be registered sex offenders if convicted. I know them personally, and they shouldn’t be on the registry. Doing so wouldn’t protect anyone; instead, it creates a culture of vigilantism and harassment.

What Do You Do with the Information on the Registry?

In 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Act passed, and each state was required to instate and maintain a sex offender registry. The registry collects the names, addresses, and other information about sex offenders, and makes it readily available to the public in Adams, Douglas, and El Paso County. The purpose of the registry is to allow parents to know about “dangerous” people in their neighborhoods. Let me ask a question that might seem obvious, but is worth asking: “How do you protect yourself from sex offenders in your neighborhood?”

“How do you protect yourself from sex offenders in your neighborhood?”

You’ve looked at the sex offender registry, and you are horrified to learn that a registered sex offender is living across the street from you. How do you protect your family? Yes, you can tell your kids to stay away from that specific neighbor’s house. But, you should tell your kids to stay away from every neighbor’s house; children need to be watched much closer in this day and age. Other than warn your children, there’s not much you can do. Unfortunately, many people are angered by the sex offender living across the street. This leads to vigilantism and harassment. I have seen it first-hand. I live next door to a registered sex offender. One day, I came out my door to find his front door had been trashed and vandalized. There was a big poster with the words: “We know who you are!” written across it. I was horrified, and cleaned up the mess before my neighbor woke up. He didn’t deserve such harassment; he and his wife are the nicest folks in the neighborhood.

Sex Offender Registry Leads to Vigilantism

You may not believe me when I say the sex offender registry leads to vigilantism. But, there are many examples of people who were murdered simply because they were on the registry, or were mistaken for someone on the registry:

These examples are but a few of many. Vigilantism and harassment of registered sex offenders is a huge problem in our country. While no one deserves to be murdered in the streets, many people don’t think killing sex offenders is that bad, because they assume they committed a heinous crime and got off scot-free. What most people don’t realize is that with the increase in public outcry over sex offenders, there has been an increase in crimes which result in sex offender registration. Not all registered sex offender committed horrible offenses. Here are two crimes which require sex offender registration:

This crime is charged in many different situations. For example, let’s say a man drinks too much at a bar and grabs the butt of the woman he is dancing with. She is angered that he misread the situation, so she calls the police. The man doesn’t want to deal with the charges against him, so he pleads guilty and becomes a registered sex offender.

When a person receives two convictions of Public Indecency within a certain amount of time, they must register as a sex offender. For example, let’s say a young college student has a habit of staying out late drinking. He pees in public twice, and is convicted twice of Public Indecency. He must now register as a sex offender.

As you can see, these two examples show how a person can be a registered sex offender, even when they have no devious sexual behaviors. In fact, they were simply doing something that many people do. But, people don’t realize that the neighbor next door could be a registered sex offender for doing something as innocuous as peeing in public.

Charged with a Sex Offense? Why You Need a Lawyer

Sex offender laws don’t protect the public. Instead, they create a culture of vigilantism and fear about registered sex offenders. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, don’t hesitate to contact an outstanding criminal defense attorney. You need to protect your future by fighting the charges against you. The criminal defense lawyers at our office have over 30 years of combined courtroom experience, and we have a passion for defending the rights of our clients.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex offense, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Oct 24

Well-Known Icons a Magnet for False Sex Assault Accusations

Famous people are magnets for false sex assault accusations in Denver. Not a day goes by that you don’t hear about a well-known icon in our country who has been accused of a crime. In recent news, Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was accused of Sexual Assault. Now, before you grow angry at this man for allegedly assaulting a young woman, stop and think about something: Jerry Jones’ net worth is $2.7 billion. That’s reason enough for someone to make false accusations. While none of our clients are billionaires, we uncover many motives for making false accusations in Adams, Denver, and Jefferson County courts.

Motive for False Accusations against Jerry Jones: Money

Well-known icons are often magnets for false accusations. Think about it: Jerry Jones is worth $2.7 billion. That’s 2.7 billion dollars, which is an enormous amount of money. The young woman who accused the football team owner, said he had groped her and forcibly kissed her. She then said he paid her off so she wouldn’t go to the police. This alleged assault supposedly took place in 2009. A judge dismissed the case last week, because the incident was outside the statute of limitations. Jones’ criminal defense attorney says the allegations are “completely false,” and were simply a “money grab.” While we haven’t defended people falsely accused for money, we have defended innocent clients who were falsely accused for other reasons.

Other Motives for False Allegations of Sexual Assault

The motives for false accusations range from a desire for revenge, control, or attention.

As seasoned criminal defense lawyers, we have seen many motives for false accusations of Sexual Assault, Unlawful Sexual Contact, and other sex offenses in Arapahoe, El Paso, and Douglas County. When adults make accusations, it is usually out of a desire for revenge or control. Maybe their ex has a new girlfriend, and they’re upset their own relationship ended. A call to the police, and that old boyfriend is arrested and in a world of trouble. Unfortunately, the police almost always believe the alleged victim wholeheartedly – even when there is evidence to the contrary. When children make false accusations, it is usually out of a desire for attention, or misplacing blame. When a child makes up stories about someone in their life, they instantly get enormous amounts of attention or pity. Or, they make accusations to get out of trouble and avoid punishment. In some cases, children have been sexually abused, but then accuse an innocent person because the true abuser is a loved one. Whatever the case, false accusations of sex crimes are prevalent in our society. Well-known icons are a magnet for these claims, but so are everyday people like you and me.

Are You Innocent? Why You Need a Lawyer

You need a lawyer even if you are innocent. The criminal justice system is severely “victim-focused.”

If you have been falsely accused of a sexual offense, you are most likely tempted to fight the allegations on your own. After all, you are innocent! Unfortunately, this is not how our criminal justice system operates – especially when it comes to sex crimes. The police treat sex crime cases as if it has been prove the alleged victim is really a victim. And, District Attorneys are victim-focused – they are prosecuting for them, after all. This creates an extremely difficult environment for an innocent defendant, however. If the “victim” says they were victimized, but the defendant says they are the one being victimized, the court system usually sides with the alleged victim. It comes down to who is more believable. Is it the little girl who says she was touched, or the older, scruffy man who says he is innocent? A jury is swayed by human emotions. This is why you need an expert criminal defense lawyer in the courtroom with you. You need someone fighting on your behalf who has a thorough understandig of the way judges, juries, and DA’s think. The outstanding lawyers at our office have over 30 years of combined courtroom experience and can help protect your future by defending you in court.

If you or a loved one has been falsely accused of a sex crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Oct 22

Why Do Kids Sext? Sexting and Sex Offenses in Denver

Why do kids sext? Learn about the criminal implications.There are sex crimes being committed every day in high schools in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County, and all across Colorado. These crimes are being committed openly. In fact, the offense is assumed and expected. This crime is Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-6-403, and it is committed when teens engage in sexting. In this blog, we’ll take a look at why kids sext, and how easy it is for them to be charged with a sex offense if they are caught.

It’s Common for Kids to Sext in Douglas and Arapahoe County

I read an article recently which discussed how common sexting really is among teenagers. In one school in another state, the police began investigating at a high school after hundreds of illegal photos of young people were posted to an Instagram account. Students were interviewed in an attempt to find out how many of them were part of a “sexting ring” at the school. They believed the sexting was an organized criminal affair – in realty, it was much more widespread than they thought. When questioned about how many of them had sexted, most students replied: “everyone.” Hundreds of phones were confiscated because they contained child porn. The police soon realized that the “victims” of the exploitation had created the photos themselves and willingly sent them to boys. The police went from calling the girls “victims,” to “I guess I’ll call them victims,” to “they victimized themselves.” It was found that young women were expected to provide images – many were pressured, but many willingly participated. The boys didn’t view the photos as anything too special –after all, pornography is available at the touch of a button. Instead, they viewed the photos more as a Pokémon or baseball card collection – proudly showing off their latest find with their friends.

Teenagers feel invincible, and don’t realize sexting can be a crime with serious implications.

When Kids Sext, is it a Crime?

When kids sext, they don’t understand the legal implications which could have a huge impact on their future. They feel invincible, and don’t realize that creating, sharing, or possessing sexually explicit photos of underage people is a crime in Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and Aurora. It is called Sexual Exploitation of a Child. In Adams, Douglas, and El Paso County, it is a serious sex offense which results in prison time for adults who are convicted. Also, it is a sex offense, which means a juvenile adjudicated or convicted of the offense would be required to register as a sex offender and go through sex offender treatment overseen by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB).

Laws Haven’t Caught Up with the Times

How do you protect a victim when the victim produced the images?

In the high school where the police were looking for the sexting ring, they decided to wipe the illicit images from phones, and warn the teenagers to stop their behavior – next time they wouldn’t be as forgiving. The problem with this offense, however, is that the laws haven’t caught up with the times. How do you protect a “victim” when the “victim” willingly provided the images? This doesn’t happen in Colorado. We have represented many teenage boys who have been charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child for possessing an explicit photo of a girl – a photo that was sent to him unsolicited. We work hard to educate parents and their kids about the dangers of sexting. Even if they aren’t charged with a crime in Centennial, Denver, or Lone Tree, the photos could come back to haunt them later in life, when they’re trying to get a job or find a home. If your child has been contacted by the police regarding sexting, don’t hesitate to contact one of our outstanding criminal defense lawyers who has a thorough understanding of the law regarding sexting. Don’t put your kid’s future in the hands of a public defender or have them plead guilty. Protect their future by contacting an attorney immediately who can give you the facts of the situation.

If your kids have been contacted by the police regarding sexting, be smart, tell them to exercise their right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your child’s future.

Oct 20

Two Common Myths about Sex Offenders in the Denver Area

Let's debunk two common myths about sex offenders in Colordo. When people hear the words “sex offender,” the words “pervert,” “violent,” and “creep” are usually included in the conversation. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the laws regarding sex offenders in Adams, Douglas, and Jefferson County. They don’t know they believe many of the myths surrounding sex offenders. Let’s take a look at a couple of these myths so we can better understand sex crimes in Colorado.

Myth #1: All Sex Offenders are Perverts

One of the most common myths is that all sex offenders are perverts. The general consensus is that sex offenders are pedophiles who have reoffended and should never be allowed in public. This is simply not true. In fact, many good people have believed this myth, only to be charged with a sex offense themselves. There are a few ways you can be unjustly labeled a sex offender in Denver, Arapahoe, and El Paso County.

1. Falsely Accused

We have worked with many clients who have been falsely accused. This is extremely common among people who are in a position of trust, whether it be a step-father, youth pastor, or teacher. All it takes for a conviction is a child telling a story about being sexually touched (even over clothing) by someone they know, and a jury who believes them.

 2. Easily Committed Sex Offense

There are a few crimes in Colorado which are labeled as sex crimes, but are easily committed. For example, a person will be labeled as a sex offender if they are convicted of Public Indecency twice. You can be charged with this crime for simply peeing in public. Also, the crime of Unlawful Sexual Contact is often charged in bars after a man grabs a woman’s butt after one too many drinks.

Myth #2: Sex Offenders are Becoming More Prevalent

Another commonly believed myth is that there is an increase in sex offenders. This is a bit of a two-part myth, however. While it is true that sex offenders are becoming more prevalent, it is not because there is an increase in the number of true sex crimes that are committed. Instead, our laws have become broader, and more and more people are registered as sex offenders when there is no need to do so. A man touching a woman’s clothed butt in a club shouldn’t be required to register as a sex offender and go through the same treatment as a serial rapist. But, they are treated the same by our criminal justice system.

Don’t stand alone in court – work with a lawyer who fights to win.

Many Myths: Why You Need a Sex Crimes Lawyer

There are many myths about sex offenders in Littleton, Cherry Creek, and Broomfield and all throughout the Denver metro area. Unfortunately, people are quick to judge when it comes to sex crimes. If you have received a ticket, summons, or Criminal Complaint for a sex crime, you need the help of a knowledgeable, understanding criminal defense lawyer. There are two reasons for this:

  1. If your case goes to trial, you’ll need a passionate criminal defense attorney advocating on your behalf. Juries need to be carefully instructed about the standard of proof when it comes to sex crime cases.
  2. If you lose your case and become a registered sex offender, your life will be greatly limitited, and the public will view you with disgust. You need to fight the charges against you to protect your future.

The criminal defense lawyers at the O’Malley Law Office have over 30 years of combined courtroom experience. We know what judges and juries are looking for. We know the tactics used by the District Attorney. Don’t stand alone in court – work with a lawyer who fights to win. We are proud of our jury trial acquittal / not-guilty statistics.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime, don’t believe the myths: Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at
303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Oct 17

Former Cop Arrested for Internet Luring Charges in Jefferson County

A former cop was arrested for Internet Luring in Colorado. Often, when the public hears about someone being arrested for a sex offense, they think that person must be an outcast or “pervert.” Unfortunately, what most people don’t realize, is that people who are charged with serious sex crimes in Douglas, Adams, and El Paso County didn’t just wake up one day and decide to commit a crime. When it comes to sexual offenses, the symptoms and desires creep up until a crime is committed. This happens to good people who make mistakes and allow sin in their lives. This happens to people we tend to respect – people like teachers, pastors, and police officers in Arapahoe, Denver, and Boulder County. Let’s look at a recent case where a former cop was arrested for Internet Luring charges.

Many People Commit Sex Crimes: Even Former Cops

Earlier this year, a man was arrested and charged with Internet Luring of a Child and Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child in Jefferson County. He wasn’t a homeless man, or creepy cult leader. In fact, he was a former cop from Denver. According to news reports, the man was driving from Colorado Springs to Littleton to have a sexual encounter with a person he thought was a teenaged girl (who was really a District Attorney technician posing in a sting operation). He was charged with two sex offenses. Let’s look at each one and why he was charged:

  • Internet Luring of a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-306

Internet Luring of a Child is charged whenever a person communicates with a person under the age of 15 (or who they believe is under the age of 15) online or over the phone, and discuss “explicit sexual conduct.” They must also suggest a meeting for any purpose in order to be charged. According to the news, the man first sent a message to who he thought was a young teenager, but in reality was a trained technician working for the DA. The conversation turned sexual, and the former cop suggested the two meet. The communication and suggestion met all the requirements for an Internet Luring charge.

  • Attempted Sexual Assault on a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-405

Sexual Assault on a Child is charged whenever a person 4 years older has any sexual contact with a child younger than the age of 15. Because the former cop was driving to meet who he thought was a young girl, he was charged with Attempted Sexual Assault on a Child. This is because, while he didn’t actually commit the crime of Sexual Assault, he took a “substantial step toward the commission of the offense.”

Why You Need a Lawyer for a Sex Offense Charge

We need to change the public perception of sex offenders. Not all sex offenders are horrible people. Some have been falsely convicted. Others made a small mistake and are being punished for a lifetime. Others slowly got embroiled in sin and committed a sex crime. Whatever the situation, reacting out of fear and disgust will help no one. It won’t help the innocent, and it won’t help people who need treatment for a sexual distortion. Here at the O’Malley Law Office, we believe it is important for a just society to fight for the rights and freedoms of every person. But, the criminal justice system is harsh on sex offenders – they don’t have compassion. This is why you need to work with an honest, understanding, and passionate criminal defense lawyer if you or a family member or friend is facing a sex crime charge. We fight to win.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex offense, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oct 15

Hacked Nude Photos: A Possible Sex Crime in Denver?

Should hacked nude photos be a sex crime?You may have heard the news about the nude photos of a few famous celebrities which were hacked and distributed online these past few weeks. According to reports, the iCloud accounts of multiple celebrities were hacked because of a security flaw in the Apple product. The photos were then released online to the public. Recently, one of the celebrities whose account was hacked – Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence – broke her silence about the situation. In her statement, she says the hacking should be viewed as a “sex crime,” not a scandal. Currently, there are no laws in Arapahoe, Adams, or Douglas County which make releasing nude photos a sex crime. It is illegal, however. This is a law dealing with what is called “revenge porn.” Let’s look closer at the existing law, and also the hacked nude photos situation.

Hacked Nude Photos Leaked: Sex Crime?

According to actress Jennifer Lawrence, she believes the hacking and releasing of the photos should be a “sex crime.” She continues by saying “it is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.” She also calls out anyone who looked at the photos, saying they should “cower with shame” for “perpetuating a sexual offense.” Now, it is important to understand that there are currently no sex crimes dealing with releasing nude photos to the public. This does not mean it is legal, however. A new law went into effect early this year which deals with the unauthorized release of naked photos to the public in Jefferson, El Paso, or Denver County. This law is called Posting a Private Image for Harassment – otherwise known as “revenge porn.”

Hacking nude images and sharing them falls under the “revenge porn” law.

Revenge Porn: The Release of Nude Photos for the Purpose of Harassment

The new law – C.R.S. 18-7-107 and 18-7-108, makes it illegal if a person posts the private photos of another person’s intimate parts online:

  • With the intent to harass and inflict “serious emotional distress” upon them;
  • Without the depicted person’s consent;
  • Or if that person had a reasonable expectation the photos would remain private;
  • And the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress as a result.

So, this law fits when it comes to the hacked nude photos of the celebrities. If the crime had occurred in Colorado, the perpetrators would be charged with this “revenge porn” law. This law isn’t a sex offense, however. It results in a possible jail sentence.

Should Releasing Hacked Nude Photos be a Sex Crime?

Should hacking a person’s online account and release private nude photos be a sex crime like Ms. Lawrence wishes? As skilled criminal defense attorneys who specialize in sex crimes, we have a thorough understanding of how the criminal justice system treats sex offenders. In short, the system doesn’t work. This is because so many crimes are classified as sex offenses. And, when a person is a sex offender in the system, they undergo the same sex offender treatment as everyone else. This doesn’t help or rehabilitate anyone. If releasing hacked nude photos was made a sex offense, a person convicted of this crime would go through the same treatment as a serial rapist. This doesn’t protect the public, and doesn’t help people who need rehabilitation. We disagree with Ms. Lawrence – while those people who hacked her private account should be held responsible for their actions, they shouldn’t be classified as sex offenders. To do so would overload our prisons and treatment providers.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malle  y Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oct 13

Female Schoolteacher Accused of Having Sex with Student

A female schoolteacher has been accused of sleeping with a student.It has happened again. It seems like every few months a female schoolteacher is accused of having sex with a student. We’ve written about it again and again. Each time it happens in Colorado, the teacher is charged with Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust. This is a serious crime in Denver, Adams, and Douglas County with long-lasting consequences. The involvement of an outstanding criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between probation and a life-sentence. Let’s take a look at this recent case and the crime in order to understand how you should defend yourself if you’ve been accused.

Young Teacher Has Sexual Trysts with Students

According to the reports, the 35-year-old English teacher in a Utah school was on trial for reportedly having sex with a 16-year-old male student. During the course of the trial, another student, a 17-year-old male, came forward with allegations that he, too had slept with the teacher. It’s interesting to note how the entire situation came to light in the first place. Apparently, the young man began boasting to his friends that he had “slept with his teacher.” The teacher’s criminal defense attorney fought the charges against her, saying the boy “pushed for sex.” Under Colorado law, it doesn’t matter if the underage teenager is a willing participant in a sexual encounter – if they are under the age of 16 and have sexual contact with an adult, they will be the “victim,” and their partner will be the defendant.

The young men were boasting about their relationship with the teacher. Why are these “victim” treated the same as a young child victim?

Consequences Don’t Fit the Crime

Sexual Assault by a Person in a Position of Trust – C.R.S. 18-3-405.3, is a sex offense in Arapahoe, El Paso, and Boulder County. There are varying degrees of severity to this offense, depending on the situation. But, regardless of whether you are charged with a class 3 or class 4 felony, a person convicted of this offense will be sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections for an indeterminate period of time. This means there is a minimum time to serve with their prison sentence, but no upper limit. For example, their sentence could be for 2 years to life. In situations where a female schoolteacher has a sexual relationship with a male student who is almost an adult (like this most recent case in Utah), we don’t’ feel the punishment fits the crime. We agree it isn’t moral for a teacher to have a sexual relationship with a student – but to put them into the same category and treat them as if they had forced a 6-year-old to have sex is ridiculous. In many situations where an attractive, young female schoolteacher has a relationship with a student, the young men are boasting about the relationship to his friends. This is a common occurrence. So, why are these “victim” treated the same as a young child who was raped? This isn’t justice.

You Need a Lawyer for Position of Trust Charges

When Sexual Assault is committed by a person who is responsible for the well-being of the child (such as a teacher, parent, babysitter, etc.), “Position of Trust” is added to the charges. This makes the charge much more serious. An exceptional criminal defense attorney with years of experience understands the severity of this charge, and knows the best way to defend your future if you’ve been charged. Don’t stand alone in court – work with an advocate whose passion is to protect your future.

If you or a loved one has been charged with Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust like the young, female schoolteacher, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oct 10

The Standard of Proof in Denver Sex Offense Cases

Learn more about the standard of proof in sex crime cases in Colorado. In courtrooms across Colorado, including Denver, Jefferson, and Adams County, there is a standard  of proof (or burden of proof ) which the District Attorney must meet during the trial. We often hear terms like “burden of proof,” “beyond a reasonable doubt,” “preponderance of the evidence,” and “clear and convincing,” but we don’t often understand exactly what they mean. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some common terms and what they mean in criminal and civil cases throughout Colorado.

Preliminary Hearings and the Standard of Proof

When you have been charged with a crime like Unlawful Sexual Contact, a preliminary hearing will be set. During this hearing, the judge is looking for probable cause that you committed the crime. They aren’t looking to be convinced you actually did commit the crime, they are simply looking at whether or not there is enough evidence to move forward with your case. During this hearing, the “evidence is weighed in a light most favorable to the prosecution.” They are looking to find evidence which supports your guilt in order to decide whether or not to move forward with the case in Douglas, Arapahoe, or El Paso County.

Preponderance of the Evidence in Civil Cases

In civil cases, the standard of proof is different. The preponderance of the evidence means a jury must be convinced that certain facts are more likely than not (more than 50% likelihood). This is a low level of certainty, and is used in civil courts to determine who wins. This level of certainty (or standard) is also sometimes used by judges when they determine whether or not certain facts or evidence will be allowed in a criminal case (admissibility of evidence).

Clear and Convincing

This standard is also used in civil cases. But, it is used when more is at stake (such as parental rights). According to Colorado Statute 19-3-604, the “clear and convincing” standard is based on a more than 50% likelihood, but isn’t as strong as “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

This standard of proof is the highest in the justice system. In order for someone to be convicted of a crime in Colorado, the jury or judge must find this high standard of proof has been met. But, what is “beyond a reasonable doubt?” The definition can be found in the Colorado Jury Instructions regarding criminal cases 3:04. It says:

“Reasonable doubt means a doubt based upon reason and common sense which arises from a fair and rational consideration of all the evidence, or lack of evidence, in the case. It is a doubt which is not vague, speculative or imaginary doubt, but such a doubt as would cause a reasonable people to hesitate to act in matters of importance to themselves.”Colorado Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases

As you can see, this is a strict standard to meet. To put it simply, think about an important decision in your life. Let’s say you are going to get a life-changing surgery. You meet with the surgeon, and you’re not sure he’s experienced enough to perform the operation. Your level of doubt is a bit too high to trust him. The same goes for a criminal case. If there’s enough doubt in your mind that a defendant committed a crime, you have a duty to say he is “not guilty.”

Why You Need a Lawyer if You’ve Received a Criminal Complaint

Unfortunately, most jurors aren’t familiar with the rules about the standard of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is why you need an outstanding criminal defense attorney fighting on your behalf in the courtroom. The skilled criminal lawyers at our office carefully instruct the jury and remind them of their duty to follow the rules of the standard of proof. Don’t go into court alone – work with a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the rules of the court.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in the Denver metro area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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