In Colorado and every other state, there is a large body of statutory provisions designed to control and monitor the actions of convicted sex offenders. Those who are convicted of sex offenses may be required to register as a sex offender. For some crimes, the registration period may be for the remainder of the offender’s life.

The registration of offenders does not prevent their commission of further sex crimes. The registration factor may help apprehend such repeat violators more quickly and it may have a certain deterrent effect on some of the registered individuals. The possibility of a deterrent effect may be enhanced when the offender also seeks out and obtains professional therapeutic and other medical treatment for intended rehabilitation. The registrants are subjected to varying degrees of supervision, including intensive daily supervision for violent sexual predators.

Recently, a 58-year-old former Denver police officer was arrested and charged with the felonies of internet luring of a child and attempted sexual assault of a child. The man is already a registered sex offender based on a charge of going to Tulsa to meet an underage girl in 1999. In this current arrest, he is accused of having initiated Internet contact with a female undercover cop who pretended to be a girl 15 years old. In most states, the age of consent is either 16 or 18.

He allegedly traveled from Colorado Springs to Littleton to have sexual contact with the purported minor. He spotted and approached the fake 15-year-old in a fast food restaurant, whereupon he was arrested for the sex offenses. Where there was no actual minor child, the prospect of making a viable criminal defense is more likely. In fact, it may be argued that the crimes could not be carried out, or were factually or legally impossible, because there was no victim. It may be an unlikely defense at the moment, however, considering the current environment of strict enforcement against such activities.

Source: 7 News Denver, “Registered sex offender and former cop Joseph Ellsworth arrested on internet luring charge”, Theresa Marchetta, Aug. 15, 2014