April 19, 2012
Colorado Court of Appeals 4-12-12 People v. Douglas
People v. Douglas Internet Luring / Complicity / Sufficiency / Enticement / Solicitation
Facts: Colorado prosecutors, not content with filling prisons with Coloradans, import crime from other states – here Pennsylvania where Mr. Douglas resided. In Fremont County, Colorado, a detective poses as a mom who whores out her daughter over the Internet - second decision in a month in a case involving this detective and this ruse. Unfortunately, Mr. Douglas ensnared himself in this idiotic trap. A jury convicted him of Internet luring, enticement of a child, and solicitation of sexual assault on a child in a position of trust.
Issue: Whether the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Douglas of Internet luring, exploitation of a child and attempted sexual assault on a child in a position of trust?
Held: No on Internet luring; yes on both the enticement and the solicitation.
Reasoning: Because the detective did all the internet luring herself, the prosecution presented no evidence that Mr. Douglas lured the fake kid over the Internet. Instead, the prosecution presented evidence that Mr. Douglas was complicit with the detective pretending to be a mom who whored out her daughter over the internet. Essentially, because the detective – fake mom - committed no crime, Mr. Douglas could not be complicit in any crime.
However the Court of Appeals found the prosecution did present sufficient evidence of enticement and solicitation. On the enticement, the Court of Appeals held that through six-degrees of separation, Mr. Douglas did entice the fake kid - in initial chats, he told the fake mom she could teach the kid how to 'suck', and he made plans to have a three-way with the "mom" and fake kid.
On the solicitation charge, Mr. Douglas asked the "mom” to engage and assist him in engaging in sexual contact with the fake kid, and thus, the Court of Appeals held the prosecution presented sufficient evidence of solicitation of sexual assault on a child in a position of trust. (Panel: Judge Miller wrote the decision with Judges Roman and Richman concurring)