Steamboat Springs A 44-year-old Steamboat Springs man was sentenced to a 20-month jail sentence Thursday after he pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender.
District Judge Michael O'Hara handed Anthony Louis Carlson the jail sentence after taking several moments to describe the complexity of Carlson's case and the struggle he had in sentencing Carlson on the misdemeanor charge.
Deputy District Attorney Tammy Jenson requested that O'Hara sentence Carlson to 24 months in jail, the maximum amount of time Carlson was facing.
Carlson was arrested last summer on suspicion of sexually assaulting a young boy, though those charges were dismissed after the boy could not testify during the man's trial.
As a result, Carlson pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender in Routt County, which he was required to do because he was convicted of a sexual offense in the state of Washington.
In July, Carlson was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully sexually exploiting a child.
The charges stemmed from the discovery of child pornography on a computer that was seized when Carlson was arrested last summer.
The man's attorney, Larry Combs, told O'Hara during the sentencing hearing Thursday that he was concerned Carlson was being sentenced for the charges that were dismissed, the new case and his past, not on the failing to register as a sex offender charge he pleaded guilty to.
"This man has been punished, the other charges have been dismissed, he understands what his requirements are," Combs said. "He should not be punished for the charges that were dismissed."
Jenson reminded O'Hara that Carlson was described as a "moderate to high risk" sex offender and that he did have another case involving children and sexual crimes pending.
"He has no remorse for his actions. He isn't taking any responsibility now," she said.
Carlson already has served 301 days in the Routt County Jail.
"It would be a complete failure of the system if I were to sentence you on charges of which you were not convicted," O'Hara said. "At the same time, I know this is an offense that strikes at the heart of community safety."
O'Hara told Carlson he had no excuse for not knowing his duty as a sex offender.
"I know people don't like to register as a sexual offender. They don't like to be identified in the community as a sexual offender, they don't like to be on Web sites, they don't like to have their neighbors know they are sexual offenders," he said. "However, this is one area where legislation has taken great strides to protect communities."
During the hearing, Carlson told O'Hara he was never told he needed to register as a sex offender in Colorado, and was not aware of Colorado law. He did not address anything else during his statement.
"I moved out here for a new job to start a new life," he said. "I know what my duties are in the community as a sex offender. I know what I'm supposed to do and what I'm not supposed to do."
Carlson must turn himself into the Routt County Jail no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 23 to complete his sentence, for which he was given nearly an 18-month credit for time already served.
Carlson is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court on Aug. 30 for a status conference in the child porn case.
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