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Denver sex assault case stalled because of evidence snags

The criminal justice system only works if all professionals involved with a case do their jobs properly. When someone drops the ball with regards to a criminal case, the defendant charged with a crime is left stressing about his future.

In the matter of a Denver sexual assault charge filed against a police officer, reported police mistakes have put the criminal trial on hold and wasted the court's time. Local news sources indicate that a mistrial was declared this week. The wait for the defendant continues, and for someone who claims he is not guilty of the crimes he's charged with, that wait has probably felt long enough.

The officer, now suspended from the force, is accused of forcing a woman he arrested in May 2010 to give him oral sex. The woman alleges that the officer told her that she would not be arrested if she performed the sex act. Last fall, the defendant was charged with sex assault and kidnapping. Both are serious charges that have already affected the man's work and that can more significantly affect his future.

The criminal trial was supposed to have begun on Tuesday. Evidence complications related to the case, however, convinced the judge to declare a mistrial. Defense and prosecution teams are supposed to share evidence in preparation for trial. In this case, the defense reportedly never received some allegedly incriminating phone recordings that investigators have. The prosecution only presented the recordings at the last minute when the case began, even though the defense never had their due opportunity to review them.

The judge granted a mistrial, but the trial is reportedly scheduled to start again by the end of the month.

Source

Denver Westword: "Hector Paez mistrial: Attorney on late-arriving evidence in case of cop charged with sex assault," Michael Roberts, Sep. 22, 2011

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