DA drops charges in child porn case

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— Charges against a 44-year-old Steamboat Springs man accused of possessing child pornography were dropped earlier this month because the District Attorney's Office needs more time to investigate the case.

Anthony Louis Carlson was facing misdemeanor charges of sexually exploiting a child after police investigators said they found child pornography on computers that were seized from his home in summer 2005, when he was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a young boy.

Carlson pleaded not guilty to the child pornography charges in August. His case was scheduled to go to trial today.

Instead, the District At-

torney's Office dismissed the case without prejudice Nov. 17.

Court documents indicate that Deputy District Attorney Andy Heyl, who took over Carlson's case after former Deputy District Attorney Tammy Jenson quit, wanted more time to investigate.

According to the court documents, Heyl estimates the investigation will take several months and that "it is in the best interest of all parties to dismiss the case without prejudice." Doing so allows the DA's Office to re-file charges in the future.

"Based on recent reports we got back from the forensics lab, we decided to do a follow-up investigation that we knew wouldn't be completed before the case had to go to trail," he said. "That's why we have decided to proceed this way."

Carlson's attorney, Larry Combs, criticized the work of the DA's Office.

"Apparently the last 16 months wasn't enough time to complete their investigation," he said.

Combs has asked the DA's Office to return Carlson's seized property, which includes two laptops, 100 CDs, seven floppy discs and three CPU towers.

Combs alleged that the property was illegally seized because the child pornography charges weren't filed until after Carlson's other case had been dismissed.

The DA's Office has until Dec. 9 to respond to Combs' request to have Carlson's property returned.

Carlson was sentenced to 20 months in jail in August for failing to register as a sex offender, which he was required to do because he was convicted of a sexual offense in the state of Washington.

Carlson faced more severe charges of sexually assaulting a boy, but those charges were dismissed after the boy was unable to testify about what had happened during the alleged assault.

Comments

dog2 7 years, 9 months ago

It seems a shame that this man spent ~11 mos. in jail to have all of the charges dropped against him. I pray he will be able to get on with his life now.

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