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Colorado Criminal Defense Law: Initial Stages In Child Sex Crime Investigations

The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Form has the skill, experience, and integrity needed to successfully defend clients charged with sex crimes. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you.

Colorado Child Sex Crime Investigations

The Early Stages of The Sex Offender Investigation

The first thing that happens when someone is accused:

The police are notified. Then the child and possibly his or her parent(s) make an initial report. In this report, the police are looking to make sure that a crime has been committed and that they have jurisdiction over the case. If they believe that a crime has been committed in their jurisdiction they will normally schedule an interview with the child with a forensic interviewer for Child Protective Services or the investigative police agency.

The Medical Examination

The police will normally schedule a medical examination as soon as possible to see whether there is any physical evidence of abuse. Some Child Advocacy Centers have a medical clinic.

Typically there will not be evidence of penetrating trauma. But the medical examiner will testify that this does not mean abuse did not occur.  In addition, the medical records may contain statements of the child as to where they were touched. Even though these statements are hearsay, they usually come into evidence at the trial because they are part of the medical records.

The Forensic Interview of The Akkeged “Victim”

Then the child will be seen by an interviewer with Child Social Services. Normally these interviews are video taped. These Child Centers have trained forensic interviewers who normally conduct the interview. Normally, only the child and interviewer will be present for the interview. The interviews are supposed to be done in a non-leading way using non-suggestive techniques.  After this interview, the child may be sent back to an investigator with the police department. The investigator may take another statement from the child.

Outcry Witness Statements

After this initial investigation the police will normally take sworn statements from the Outcry Witness(es). Colorado law allows persons the child told about the allegations to testify in court. In addition, the police will normally take sworn statements from every person the child has discussed the allegations with.

The police can then look for corroborative evidence. This is any evidence they think will prove the complainant is telling the truth. This evidence can include any of the following:

Telephone records, motel records, movies, books, magazines, letters, gift cards, lingerie, photographs, e-mails, school records of complainant showing changes in grades, unusual behavior in the person accused that they can document.

The Use of Search Warrants

The investigator may request a search warrant to search the home of the person accused. However, an investigator may try and search the home of the person accused without a search warrant. If someone who is in control of the home such the accuser’s wife will consent to the search, the police can search the home without a warrant.

The Pretext Phone Call “Trick”

Some police agencies in Colorado will even have the child try and call the person accused while they are tape recording the conversation. This is commonly called a “pretext” call.

Some police agencies in Colorado will even have the child try and call the person accused while they are tape recording the conversation. This is called a pretext phone call ( Click This Link )

The “pretext phone call” is an investigative tool that can be utilized in a wide variety of criminal investigations. It can be especially effective in sexual assault investigations, including drug-facilitated sexual assault.

In this context, a pretext phone call is simply a tape-recorded telephone call between the victim and the suspect. The call is usually initiated by the victim, under the supervision of a law enforcement officer — preferably the lead investigator or case agent. The suspect is unaware that the call is being recorded. This technique may be referred to by different terms, including “confrontational calls,” “pretense calls,” “taping,” “consensual taping,” “monitored calls,” etc.

The Case Is Then Screened By The DA

It is at this point that the person accused will be contacted by either law enforcement or CPS. After the police contact the person accused, they will take the information they have and see whether or not the District Attorney’s office will accept charges. If the district attorney is presented with more than one charge, they will normally accept the most serious and most recent charge.

Beware Of Child Protective Services (CPS)

CPS is not a law enforcement agency. If they meet with someone who is under investigation, they can take their statement without having to read them their legal warnings. This is highly unadvisable. When the police meet with someone accused of this crime they will try and get a confession. If they can not get a confession, they will try and get other corroborative evidence. They may try and tell this person that they understand it was an accident to elicit a response. In addition, the investigator will try and ask the person who is being accused why the child has made this story up. The investigator will then try and gauge the persons reactions.

Posting Bond – Conditions of Bond

If charges are filed, the person charged will have to post a bond. In addition, the court will normally require that as a condition of bond, the person not have any contact with the accuser and not have any contact with children under the age of 18.

If you retain H. Michael Steinberg, he will want to meet with you and go over your case. You should never meet with an investigator without an attorney present. H. Michael believes that in most instances it is best not to meet with the investigators. However, in some cases, meeting with investigators may be appropriate.  

Possible Polygraph

If the client agrees, Attorney Steinberg may have his client polygraphed before meeting with the investigator. Then, Attorney Steinberg will have his clients write a detailed statement as to what has happened. If there is agreement about the polygraph, Mr. Steinberg will set up a meeting with the polygrapher to conduct a test on his client. This examination is confidential.

If the results show that the client accused of a sex crime does not show deception, then Mr. Steinberg will try to the results to persuade the DA not to proceed with the case filing.  If the examination shows that the client does show deception, the results of the examination will remain confidential.  If the client shows no deception on the polygraph exam, Mr. Steinberg may also forward the statement and polygraph report to the investigating agency or sometimes meet with law enforcement.

There are many reasons why a person who did not commit a crime could fail a polygraph exam. Some people are not good candidates for polygraph exams because of neurological problems. Mr. Steinberg does not assume that you are guilty if you decide not to take a polygraph exam. Some clients feel that they should not have to take this exam since they did not commit a crime.

Free Consultation To See If You Need Legal Services

Our free consultation will help you understand all of your options and what legal defenses you may have. If you or a loved one has been arrested or is being questioned regarding a criminal matter contact our offices to speak to one of our experienced Denver, Colorado criminal trial lawyers. H. Michael Steinberg is available for consult 24 hours a day 7 days a week. In addition all clients are given H. Michael’s cell phone number so they have access when needed – you can call if you need to now.. 720-220-2277.


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
Colorado Criminal Law Blog:  www.Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com
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