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 Sex Crimes

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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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The recent conviction and mandatory life sentence of Broomfield High School wrestling coach Travis Masse demonstrates why the 1998 Colorado Lifetime Sex Offender Supervision Act goes too far.

A jury convicted the 29-year-old former teacher Tuesday of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust, determining that he had sexual contact with the student on three occasions after the two exchanged sexually explicit text messages. There was no evidence that the relationship was anything but consensual – to the contrary there was no evidence of force.

As an experienced Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – I have discussed this law with many other practicioners – on both sides of the issue. There is considerable agreement among these men and women that Colorado sex-offender sentencing laws, which are the toughest in the nation, take away the primary justification for the election and periodic review of our judges – the responsibility for sentencing those convicted of crime.

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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 case issued by the Supreme Court of Colorado clarifies the law in Colorado in Sexual Assault on a Child Cases where there are multiple instances of conduct constituting a pattern. The decision allows for consecutive sentences for each act notwithstanding the fact that there has been a single victim.

Colorado’s sexual assault statutes authorize the possibility of greater punishments for sexual crimes against children that are committed “as a part of a pattern of sexual abuse.”

Two cases, “Colorado v. Simon” and “Colorado v. Tillery” were consolidated for the Supreme Court’s review in that they both involve interpretation of Section C.R.S. 18-3-405.3. The common issue presented by these cases was whether the statutory provisions and principles of double jeopardy permit only one class 3 felony conviction and sentence for a single “pattern” of abuse that comprises two or more incidents of sexual assault, or whether each separate act of sexual assault that composes a single “pattern” of abuse which may be elevated to a class 3 felony.

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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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ELLICOTT, COLO.is a very small town in Colorado on the Eastern Plains just east of Colorado Springs.

In that small jurisdiction a School District board member has just been arrested for allegedly sexting a 14-year-old boy.

Thirty-seven-year-old Stefanie Dickinson was arrested Sunday for Internet Luring of a Child, a class four felony.

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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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Colorado Juvenile Sex Crimes – The Newest Wrinkle in the Area of “Sexting” – “Sextortion”

Colorado District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District (Jefferson County) addresses the new crime of Sextortion.

Sextortion is an Enhancement of a raging phenomenon in Colorado known as Sexting – Sexting is sending sexually explicit photos and video of themselves over the Internet.