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GOP state lawmaker harboring unregistered sex offender

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DENVER — State Rep. Randy Baumgardner, who is challenging Sen. Jean White in a Republican primary for her senate seat, is benefiting from mailers questioning White’s values after she voted in favor of civil unions.

But FOX 31 Denver has confirmed that Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, is currently harboring an unregistered sex offender in his home, a decision that has his neighbors questioning his own values.

“This is an ignorant, arrogant individual who has no place in public office,” one of Baumgardner’s constituents wrote in an email to FOX31 Denver. “If you are running on morals, then have some.”

Michael K. Frierson, 32, is registered as living at Baumgardner’s address on Ridgeway Avenue in Hot Sulphur Springs.

He was arrested at Baumgardner’s home on April 12 for failing to register as a sex offender.

Baumgardner paid the $2,000 to bail him out.

As of Thursday, there is no evidence that Frierson has registered himself as a sex offender in Grand County.

Reached by phone Thursday night, Baumgardner told FOX31 Denver that Frierson’s charges stem from a relationship he had a decade ago with a girl 10 years younger than him.

“He was arrested but no charges were filed,” Baumgardner said. “He came to us a year and a half ago and has been working on our farm. He’s never been anything but respectful.

“We took him at his word that he screwed up when he was young, and, you know, most of us do. He didn’t re-register when he moved and that’s why he was arrested a few months back.”

Asked why he hasn’t registered since that arrest in April, Baumgardner said he believes that a court date is set for that.

According to records obtained by FOX 31 Denver, Frierson has a lengthy history as a sex offender.

In 2002, he was arrested for assault and menacing, but that charge was dismissed. A year later, he was plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for sexual assault on a victim that was more than 10 years younger than him — he was 25 at the time.

In 2004, two felony charges against Frierson, sexual assault for attempting to coerce a child and enticement of a child, were dismissed.

All told, his rap sheet, which starts with an arrest in 1998, includes 13 separate arrests for everything from burglary and theft to carrying prohibited weapons and property damage.

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