New ‘hearsay’ law helps convict man of sexually assaulting a disabled woman
DENVER — Colorado’s law allowing hearsay evidence in cases involving developmentally disabled victims was used to find a man guilty for sexually assaulting a disabled woman.
A jury convicted Ennio Daniel this week of two counts of sexual assault on an at risk adult and one count of second-degree kidnapping.
House Bill 1085, passed earlier this year, allows out-of-court statements made by a person with a developmental disability admissible in any criminal proceeding.
Testimony from an acquaintance of the victim alleged Daniel lured the victim into his car under the pretense of going on a group outing in April 2011. Instead he sexually assaulted her in three separate attacks on the same day.
During the trial, a recording of the victim’s statement to a forensic interviewer was played and used as evidence against Daniel.
Representative Rhonda Fields, who sponsored HB 1085, monitored the trial closely.
“People with developmental disabilities are often victimized because they are vulnerable, and then they are victimized again when their cases are not prosecuted, said Rep Fields. “This law offers these victims an opportunity for equal access to justice.”
Daniel will be sentenced January 28th. He could get life in prison.
By: Paula Vargas