Hot Sheet

Senate GOP bill expands access to evidence for sex-crime investigators

Author: Dan Njegomir - February 7, 2017 - Updated: June 6, 2017

Authorities wouldn’t want more eyes taking in the likes of child pornography — except when it comes to those who must examine it as evidence in the investigation of sex crimes. Current state law allows only certified peace officers to possess and view such illegal, sexually exploitative material when in fact computer forensic examiners, crime analysts, lawyers, and other law enforcement personnel also are involved in building sex-crime cases for prosecution. A bill unanimously approved Tuesday in the state Senate Judiciary Committee aims to address that concern.

Senate Bill 115, introduced in the upper chamber by Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley, would grant legal access to law enforcement personnel who, in the performance of their duties, are required to possess and view the content. The Senate GOP communications office quotes Cooke, a former Weld County sheriff:

“Current law impedes criminal investigations into sexual crimes in which law enforcement seeks to protect and provide justice for some of our state’s most vulnerable populations,” said Cooke. “By expanding the verified personnel who may possess sexually explicit materials, we can not only help ensure that law enforcement officials are given the tools to swiftly serve justice, but also keep those officials safe from prosecution in the execution of their duties.”

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.