Sexual assault on child charges against Colorado man dropped
A professional Colorado real estate broker is seeking to have his arrest and court records sealed after all charges of sexual assault on a child were dropped against him.
The man contends that he is innocent, and the felony allegations were made after he went through a bitter divorce and custody dispute.
The Fort Collins man was forced to move because he was ostracized by his neighbors, and also lost his job with a real estate office. The man didn’t receive any job offers when he applied for similar positions, as the allegations showed up in online background checks.
A defense attorney referred to these records as a modern day “Scarlet Letter.”
A Colorado district attorney’s office had the charges against the man dismissed. However, the prosecutor would like to keep the case open, since the state of Colorado has no statute of limitations for prosecuting someone for sexual assault on a child.
The alleged victim may be found competent to testify once she is older. Although the allegations included physical contact, not sexual intercourse, the man could face life in prison if he is eventually convicted.
The district attorney office stated that there is also strong public interest in keeping the records available, as other children could be jeopardized if the information is kept secret.
A local court has already refused the man’s request to have his records sealed. The Fort Collins police department and the Colorado Attorney General also have requested that the records remain open.
The man has appealed his case to the Colorado Court of Appeals. In the meantime, he has started working for another real estate agency. This employer was empathetic to his plight, as the employer had suffered previous false allegations of child abuse.
Our Colorado Springs law firm defends clients accused of similar offenses. For more information, visit our El Paso County sex crimes page.
Source: Coloradoan.com, “The power of allegations: When innocent until proven guilty collides with public’s right to know,” Sept. 17, 2012