Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Public Shaming: A New Tactic from Colorado Springs Police?

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Apr 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

Is public shaming on social media a new tactic for police in Colorado? Read more in our blog.
Image Credit: Pixabay – LoboStudioHamburg

The police utilize many different tactics in Denver, Aurora, and Centennial, and across the Front Range. Police officers are trained to deal with people who have been accused of crimes, and they know how to surreptitiously gather information to use against them at trial. Sometimes their tactics don't come across very honest; they often call people to “help them out,” knowing full well they can't be helped if they have already been charged with an offense. But, a recent tactic is by far the least decent: In Colorado Springs, the police have a new way to fight prostitution – public shaming. Let's take a look at exactly how it works.

Public Shaming for Soliciting a Prostitute

The Colorado Springs police department just launched a new tactic last week. They released the names and mug shots of six men who were convicted of Soliciting for Prostitution. This practice is apparently a new “tactic” to discourage prostitution in El Paso County. As a skilled criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience, I am wary of this type of behavior. Public shaming is not a good way to combat the commission of crime. And, good people and their families could be harmed by the public display of their mug shots. A person who is convicted of Solicitation in Denver, Adams, or Boulder County has completed the process in the criminal justice system, has done their jail time, or paid their fine. They (and their family) should not be subjected to further punishment, which could lead to the loss of a job or housing. The ACLU has spoken out about this new tactic, saying they were “concerned about the collateral damage to innocent family members who may be victimized by the policy of public shaming.” We recently learned that a Fort Collins newspaper publishes photos of men who are accused of Soliciting for Prostitution – even before they are convicted.

What is Soliciting a Prostitute?

Soliciting a Prostitute – C.R.S. 18-7-202, is charged whenever a person solicits someone for the purpose of prostitution, arranges a meeting for the purpose of prostitution, or directs someone to a place of prostitution knowing that is their purpose. Soliciting a Prostitute isn't an SOMB sex offense; it is a class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a possible jail sentence and fine. An expert defense lawyer can often work with the District Attorney to get a favorable plea agreement or deferred judgment, which could allow the offender to seal their record in the future. Unfortunately, the new public shaming tactic wouldn't allow a person to put their past behind them.

Public Shaming Mirrors Sex Offender Registration

These types of practices haven't been proven to work.

Certain sexual offenses in Arapahoe, Jefferson, and Douglas County require sex offender registration as well as jail time. For these individuals, the requirement to register means their mug shot and a description of their crime are published for the public to see. The new public shaming tactic employed by the Colorado Springs police department mirrors sex offender registration – making Solicitation much like a sex crime. And, these types of practices haven't been proven to work. The public shaming tactic was attempted by the Denver Police Department, but it failed to reduce recidivism and was canceled. In another state, the same initiative was put into place, but was stopped after the pictures of those convicted were being used for inappropriate purposes. Another program was canceled after the home addresses of some of the john's were posted online. Obviously, the public shaming tactic doesn't work. But, that doesn't stop police departments from trying it, despite that it has been proven to be counterproductive.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Solicitation Charges

If you've been accused of or charged with a crime in Colorado, don't hesitate to contact one of the best criminal defense lawyers at the O'Malley Law Office. We have a passion for defending the rights of our clients. We don't believe public shaming is constitutional or just – we believe in fighting for your future, and we fight to win.

Request a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with Soliciting for Prostitution, 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.

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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