H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.

Articles Posted in Colorado Sex Offender Laws

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By Colorado Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer – Attorney – H. Michael Steinberg

A recent case in New York City – clearly points out what can go wrong in a felony sex crime prosecution.

Darrell Dula – 26 – was one of four men – charged in a NY sexual assault case. His case was dismissed after an over zealous prosecutor was found to have violated New York’s criminal procedural laws involving basic fairness.

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Colorado Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

In a recent decision providing an opportunity for the Colorado Court of Appeals to mitigate the impact of the 1998 Colorado Sex Offender Sentencing and Lifetime Supervision Act – the Colorado Appellate courts did the opposite.

The Court was faced with a statutory conflict between the Colorado Violent Crime Sentencing Statute and the Colorado Sex Offender Sentencing and Lifetime Supervision Act in sentencing individuals to Lifetime Indeterminate sentences.

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Former Greeley police officer Daniel Shepherd was found not guilty by a Colorado jury on February 8, 2012.

What makes this case so important – is that the jury looked at the “he said – she said” nature of the allegations – found both sides had lied or covered up – so they did what jurys are supposed to do – they focused on the absence of forensic evidence that would have pointed the way to the truth. This time – because of the incompetence of the police – there was none

In the words of one juror – who clearly got it right:

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A new Colorado Law – helps Sex Offenders Understand the Requirements of Sex Offender Registration.

The 2011 bill makes a number of modifications to the requirements for registering as a sex offender, including the following:

• county sheriffs are required to submit registration information for individuals who are required to register as sex offenders and are held for more than five days or are sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a county jail;

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I am sure by this time – you have read about the failure of individuals in the Penn State hierarchy to report suspected child abuse allegedly occurring on the Penn State campus. You may be wondering what Colorado Law requires in the way of Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse.

Under most state laws – there is NO REQUIREMENT that an individual report a crime – UNDER ANY AND ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. This general rule is the case with certain critical excpetions.

In Colorado certain legal relationships require – upon suspecting an act of child abuse – that certain individuals report crimes against children.

I have written an article:

Here is the link:

Colorado Law Compelling Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse

….that addresses who these mandatory reporters are… They are such professionals as therapists, police, teachers, nurses, doctors – and others who have a legal duty to protect children.

Here is a complete list of Colorado Mandatory Reporters
physician or surgeon, including a physician in training;
. child health associate;
. medical examiner or coroner;
. dentist;
. osteopath;
. optometrist;
. chiropractor;
. chiropodist or podiatrist;
. registered nurse or licensed practical nurse;
. hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care or treatment of patients;
. Christian science practitioner;
. public or private school official or employee;
. social worker or worker in a family care home or child care center;
. mental health professional;
. dental hygienist;
. psychologist; physical therapist;
. veterinarian;
. peace officer;
. pharmacist;
. commercial film and photographic print processor;
. firefighter;
. victim’s advocate;
. licensed professional counselor;
. licensed marriage and family therapists;
. unlicensed psychotherapists;
. clergy member;
. registered dietician;
. worker in the Colorado Department of Human Services;
. juvenile parole and probation officers;
. child and family investigators;
. officers and agents of the state bureau of animal protection, and animal control officers.

The failure to report a suspected act of child abuse is a crime in Colorado — but only a misdemeanor.

I end with the question — just what is child abuse?

Here is the law:
Continue reading

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In a move that can only be described as a Herman Cain Blowback, the United States Department of Education’s new mandate directs all colleges receiving federal funds to LOWER THE STANDARD OF PROOF for allegations of sexual harasment to a new lower burden of proof. The Department of Education directive mandates that all colleges receiving federal funds change the usual “clear and convincing” standard to “preponderance of evidence.”

This difference is a major change. The new lower standard requires only that 50.01 percent of the evidence be in favor of an offense having happened in order to reach a conviction.

In addition the Federal Violence Against Women Act, has a new proposed provision that proposes to turn the Department of Education directive into statutory law.

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An article – written by Monte Whaley – appearing in the Denver Post in August of 2011 entitled – “Sentencing disparities in child-sex-assault cases point to double standard” confronts the insanity of Colorado’s Sex Offender Sentencing Laws

The article began with this statement “Women in Colorado convicted of sexually assaulting a child in their care are far less likely to go to prison than men sentenced for the same crime.”

The Post did a comprehensive analysis of publicly available sentencing data provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch.

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In a recent press release on the 1st Judicial District Website in Colorado – Scott Storey – the elected DA – approaches the increasing problem of Sexting with a reasoned eye – recognizing that which most experts in the field understand – it is a matter of “growing up” and “coming of age” .. that leads to an understanding of the proper boundaries between the genders. It is not a sex offender crime in most cases.

In the following reprinted web page – DA Storey explains his reasoning.

He is to be commended for his common sense and not knee jerk response – as is often the case in this area.

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On Monday, July 25, 2011 A Broomfield County Colorado Wrestling Coach was Sentenced to life in prison after a jury trial which ended in convictions of for Sexual Assault On A Child by a Person in a Position in Trust and Sexual Assault on a child – Pattern of Abuse (more than two incidents).

The verdict related to his sexual assault of a 15-year-old high school girl who was manager of his wresting team. Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Masse had sex with the girl on several occasions and sent as many as 8,900 text messages to the girl – many of them sexually explicit – between December 2008 and February 2009.

Judge Thomas Ensor, the presiding judge over the May 2011 trial – was compelled by Colorado’s mandatory life in prison laws – to sentence Masse to 10 years to life with 20 years’ mandatory parole for the first charge, and six years with 20 years’ parole for a second offense

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In a recent article in the Denver Post – the author brings to light the substantial increase in Colorado Child Pornography case prosecutions.

The number of Colorado prosecutions involving the possession and trading of child

pornography more than quadrupled from 36 cases filed in 2001 to 159 in 2009. While the number slightly decreased in 2010 – the 2011 number of case filings is on the increase.