If you have been charged with Sexual Assault on a Child (C.R.S. 18-3-405), Unlawful Sexual Contact (CRS 18-3-404) or any other unlawful sexual behavior crime in Colorado, you must be aware of the presumption of guilt which Colorado jurors will bring to the courtroom. It does not matter if you have been accused in Denver, Weld, Arapahoe, or Jefferson County, when a sexual offense is involved, you need to be ready to fight for your life.
I was skimming through some old articles in The Crime Report where I came across a 2010 piece by Jordan Smith. It focused on the Georgia, Tonya Renee Craft sex assault case, titled Presumed Guilty. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to overcome public attitudes when defending clients faced with these charges, but Ms. Smith's article and her interview of psychologist and attorney Demosthenes Lorandos, reflected this difficulty very well.
Despite legal protections given the defendant's presumption of innocence, Sexual Assault on a Child and Sexual Assault on a Child – Position of Trust (C.R.S. 18-3-405.3), carry a public presumption that the defendant is guilty in Colorado counties like Adams, Weld and Larimer. According to Mr. Lorandos, “these are the hardest cases to win because people basically stop listening as soon as the indictment is read.” Mr. Lorandos is also quoted at length on the tactics prosecutors use to get convictions in sex assault cases. One of these tactics is referred to as “bleed 'em and plead 'em”. It is used to scare defendants so badly that they are willing to take a plea in hopes of avoiding prison. Mr. Lornados claims that 95% of the work is done for a prosecutor once charges are filed because defendants (mostly innocent) take a plea out of fear.
After 20 years defending these types of cases, I have learned many ways to overcome these obstacles. Beginning with jury selection (known as “voir dire”), a skilled defense attorney must educate jurors on the presumptions we hold. The Sexual Assault defense lawyer must get the jury talking about how to identify and overcome presumptions of guilt. We have been richly blessed by God in the process, and have had great success at trial in these sex based cases.
I never want to frighten a person charged with sexual assault on a child. Yet I want clients who visit with me to understand the truth of what is at stake. We discuss many important details they must embrace in order to prevail. Most importantly, I want them to know that when I take their case, I am fully committed to an acquittal. Everything I do from the start of the case to the end is designed to prove my client's innocence.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with Sexual Assault on a Child, or any of the other sexual behavior crime in Colorado, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-830-0880. Together we can protect your future.