A previous blog discussed some of the less than ideal methods investigators use when examining possible Sexual Assault and other sex crimes like Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-3-504.4), or Aggravated Incest (CRS 18-6-301). The justice system is struggling to find a balance of protecting the rights of the accused in Denver, Arapahoe, and Adams County while protecting the alleged victim from further trauma.
Recently, this problem was shown when accusations of what would be the equivalent of Jefferson, Douglas, Larimer, or Weld County Unlawful Sexual Contact were directed toward a star college basketball player. Two girls accused this young man of touching them inappropriately at a party. He was arrested and charged with no evidence against him other than the testimony of the two young ladies. He hired a defense team, passed two lie detector tests that confirmed his claim of innocence, and headed into a trial ready to protect his reputation. Despite that, he was found guilty and sentenced to at least two years in prison.
The trial was mishandled on many different fronts. One of the girls had a documented medical history that showed she had tendencies to fabricate stories and had been hospitalized multiple times for a psychiatric illness. This fact was never told to defense attorneys by the prosecution, and if it had been, Colorado law keeps this information from the jury. In an effort to protect “victims,” Colorado law seeks to keep relevant mental history a secret. The police also mishandled the situation when they approached the girls to make an identification of the alleged attacker. They showed the girls a picture of the entire basketball team. The girls got their attacker mixed up with the current defendant who looked very similar in the picture.
In this case, not only was a young man treated unjustly, but the two young women who may have been attacked do not have the satisfaction of seeing the real offender in jail. The court system has fallen short of providing justice. If police arrest you for sexual assault, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the experienced sex crime criminal lawyers at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.