H. Michael Steinberg has 38+ years of 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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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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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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The Following verdict in a Colorado Sexual Assault Trial demonstrates the many levels of testimony that can be admitted in a trial .. it is instructive at many levels for that reason

Jury convicts Valdez of sex crimes Thursday, Dec 30th, 2010

DEL NORTE, Colorado ・A Rio Grande County District Court jury deliberated for four hours before the criminal incest trial of Arthur Valdez ended with a verdict of guilty on two counts.

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By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer

Colorado Internet Sexual Exploitation case investigations often resemble a kind of  entrapment. Hefty amounts of Federal funding to the states for these cases has resulted in a major increase in the invesitgation and prosecution of this kind of  internet “sting” cases.  While these cases are ripe for possible entrapment defenses but they must be evaluated carefully.

The average Defendant in an Internet sex sting case is male (99 percent), white (92 percent), and older than 25 (86 percent). Few are violent in any manner. Some 97 percent acted alone in the crimes of which they are accused. Only 10 percent had prior arrests for sexually offending against minors.

Nearly every suspect (later Defendant)  in these cases believe they have been entrapped. But there is a difference between enticement and entrapment …in most cases the suspect will have been enticed and do not have the entrapment defense available to them.

The police officers masquerading as children entice an otherwise disposed perpetrator to commit the crime. Entrapment is commonly defined as the officer overcoming the will of an otherwise unwilling person to commit a crime.

To be mount a successful Entrapment Defense a suspect must do something the suspect would not have done done if he had not been tricked or corerced into committing the crime.

The Sting

These internet “sting” cases are the result of police officers, men and women, trolling the chat rooms for individuals seeking to meet others. These officers often enter adult chat rooms, hook their prey and reel them in … The entrapment defense can be raised in these cases (see my page on entrapment law) however these cases — by their very nature– are set up to prove in court.

The recent rash of Internet stings in Colorado, conducted by various police departments, introduces a trap – otherwise known as a young girl looking for company – in a chatroom, and lures the unsuspecting young males into a personal meeting with the provocative assumedly 14-year old girl after several hours over many days of chatting online.

The undercover agent is most often a seasoned male or female police officer. The tone of the conversation is nothing short of “enticing erotica.”

In my 36 years as a Colorado Criminal Law attorney, I’ve never seen methods quite like this used before.  All potential defenses to the charges, including entrapment and outrageous government conduct.

Who Gets Stung?

Studies show that the majority of arrests resulting from Internet stings fashioned in a manner similar to those being conducted in Colorado are of white thirty-something year old home-owning males with incomes of at least $73,000 per year.

Interestingly enough that is the exact same profile of the most frequent user of the Internet and the source of the majority of Internet commerce.

If you have been arrested for an Internet sex crime or you believe you may be under investigation by the police for an Internet sex crime, get immediate legal help. Contact us your freedom may be at stake.

The penalties for any sex crime are severe, especially if you must register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. But the personal costs of an Internet sex crimes charge can be just as serious as the criminal costs.

It is embarrassing and harmful to family and marriage. If your job requires professional licensure, a security clearance, or involves children, you may lose your job. You may not be allowed to live within a certain distance of a daycare, playground, or school. Even high school kids can be convicted of Internet sex crimes and placed on the sex offender registry.

At The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm we understand how difficult and stressful this is. We tackle your case aggressively but with discretion and sensitivity. Our goal is to minimize the negative consequences of the Internet sex crime charge or conviction and to get the best possible outcome, given the facts of your case.
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