Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Sex Offender Registration Laws are Unconstitutional in Denver

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Sep 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

Sex offenders are considered to be dangerous people by the general public. Often, citizens in Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson County fail to realize that “sex offender” is a very general term. The Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) uses a “one-size-fits all” approach, and treats serial rapists the same as someone who got caught peeing in public one too many times. Colorado government and law enforcement officials often ignore the constitutional rights of fellow citizens who have already paid their dues for the crimes they committed. In a recent ruling by a U.S. District Court judge, it was determined that the City of Englewood's regulations regarding where sex offenders can live are so restrictive that they are unconstitutional.

Sex Offender Registration Laws Unconstitutional: Ban People from Living in Entire Cities

The ACLU brought the case on behalf of a man who plead guilty to a criminal attempt to commit Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust – C.R.S. 18-3-405.3. After he continued to see his alleged victim (a high school girl with whom the relationship was consensual), he served 2 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. After his release, he registered as a sex offender as required. He and his wife purchased a home in the city of Englewood last year, but he didn't know about an ordinance: Anyone who had a conviction of certain sex offenses was not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a licensed day care center, recreation center, swimming pool, walk-to-school rout, recreational trail or property next to a bus stop, or within 2,000 feet of a school, park or playground. Obviously, this included much of the city. The ACLU lawyers created a map that showed the area that was affected by these restrictions: over 99% of the city banned sex offenders. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that this was unconstitutional, and concluded that Englewood would not be able to enforce these restrictions.

Sex Offender Registration Laws: Isolate Offenders and Cause them to Re-Offend

Laws that ban citizens from living in entire cities is clearly unconstitutional. Even the harsh SOMB released a statement saying that attempting to eliminate all sex offenders from living in a community interferes with the goal of reintegrating sex offenders back into the community. If we don't allow sex offenders (who have paid their dues by spending time in prison or completing comprehensive treatment) back into our communities, they will never be able to reintegrate into society. If they are isolated, they will figure they have nothing left to lose, and are more likely to reoffend (read studies that show that sex offender registration aids recidivism).

Request a Free Consultation

If you are a registered sex offender in Denver, Douglas or Broomfield County, contact us for a free consultation. You may be eligible to petition the court to deregister as a sex offender. 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. Or, submit the “Get Help Now” form. Together, we can protect your future.


Westword Blog

Read the District Judges' Ruling

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles /

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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