Criminal Justice

Colorado D.A. Invokes Novel 'Prostitots' Legal Theory to Explain Away Unfavorable DNA Test Results

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Denver Post columnist Susan Greene details what looks to be a railroading in progress.

Residents were alarmed last summer by a rash of thefts, trespasses and burglaries in Stonegate, a neighborhood in Douglas County.

Fear turned to panic in July after an intruder reportedly climbed into a second- story window and groped an 8-year-old girl in her bed.

A sicko was on the loose and pressure was on to catch him.

Soon enough, they found their man. Police arrested Tyler Sanchez, a 19-year-old who is both hearing impaired and mentally disabled. After 17 hours of questioning over a 38-hour period, Sanchez confessed, though according to Greene, his confession consisted of no more than the details of the crime the police revealed to him during interrogation. In announcing their success, prosecutors noted Sanchez's "pattern of escalating behavior," by which they meant he had been arrested as a juvenile for graffiti, then violated his probation by consuming alcohol. If only they had locked up this monster sooner.

Unfortunately, the state's case then took a hit when DNA testing on evidence culled from the 8-year-old's underwear pointed to an unknown male, but excluded Sanchez as that male. No matter. District Attorney Carol Chambers insists she still has the right guy. How can she be so sure? Well, because kids can be such sluts these days.

"With the low-cut jeans that girls wear, she could have picked up anyone's DNA off any surface her panties touched while they may have been riding up above her pants. I hate those low-cut pants," Chambers said…

"Depending on how long she had been wearing those panties and where, they could have rubbed up against the back of her chair at school, a restaurant, the couch at home that someone else had been sitting on, a bus seat, someone's toilet seat if she did not pull them down far enough — there are many ways to get unknown DNA on clothing. Another kid could have snapped the elastic on her underwear — kids do that sort of thing."

Don't be too hard on Chambers, though. She probably knows that in Colorado, sending potentially innocent people to prison is how prosecutors become judges.