Colorado Department of Law - Office of the Attorney General

09/13/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/13/2017 18:33

AG Coffman to Appeal Sex Offender Registry Ruling

DENVER- Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman today announced that her office will be proceeding with an appeal on behalf of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, after the U.S. District Court judge's decision in Millard, et al. v. Rankin. Although the United States Supreme Court has decided that sex offender registration laws are tools to protect the public and are not 'punishment' of offenders, the District Court concluded that requiring three Colorado sex offenders to register is an unconstitutional additional punishment that is disproportionate to the crimes committed.

The three plaintiffs in this case are all convicted sex offenders who committed sexual assault against minors, in one instance on a three-year-old child. The plaintiffs argued that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and their right to due process. Courts across the country, including Colorado state courts, have explicitly and repeatedly upheld sex offender registration laws in the face of similar arguments.

'As Attorney General, protecting victims is one of the most critically important parts of my job,' said Attorney General Coffman. 'Colorado, its forty-nine sister states, and the federal government all have sex offender registry laws in place to inform the public and protect them from sexual offenders who have been found guilty of sexual crimes, including heinous crimes against children. Survivors of sexual assault are forever impacted by the trauma they have experienced, and we must never lose sight of the responsibility we have to prevent the victimization of more innocent people.'

'I am surprised by the court's decision, and think the ruling contains several legal errors which we will now address on appeal,' she said.

The court's decision does not allow convicted sex offenders, including these three plaintiffs, to be automatically removed from the sex offender registry. Colorado's registry continues to be maintained by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in accordance with all applicable laws.

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CONTACT
Annie Skinner
Colorado Attorney General's Office
720-508-6553 or [email protected]