Few Colorado intimate photo cases reach verdict, despite law
Author: Associated Press - September 26, 2017 - Updated: September 26, 2017
DENVER — A Colorado law designed to punish people for posting intimate photos of former lovers or spouses on the internet has resulted in nearly 200 charges since it was passed in 2014. But securing convictions and guilty pleas has been a challenge.
There have been 192 misdemeanor cases for nonconsensual pornography filed since the law was set in place, but just more than one-third of those have resulted in guilty pleas or verdicts, The Denver Post reported Monday.
Of the 192 cases, 117 have already been decided, according to court records. Forty-two of those ended in a guilty plea or verdict, 27 were dismissed, three were acquittals, 26 were dismissed as part of a plea-bargain agreement and 19 were dismissed as part of a deferred sentence deal.
“Dismissals are unusual, but a vast majority of our cases will end up in plea agreements,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said. “It’s particularly difficult with cases where victims and perpetrators know each other, and this happens far too frequently with these.”
Attorney Cassandra Kirsch, who has represented a handful of clients whose cases were settled before a lawsuit was filed, said another problem is not all cases are filed under the 2014 law.
“And a lot of attorneys bring them under different theories, such as an invasion of privacy case or defamation or negligence,” Kirsch said. “The law is relatively new, and a lot of people just don’t know they can file it.”