Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Romanek Pleads Not Guilty, Trial Scheduled

Stanley Romanek pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography Tuesday at the Larimer County Justice Center in Fort Collins, Col. A five-day jury trial was scheduled to begin Aug. 15.

According to Dana Rieck of the Loveland Reporter-Herald, Romanek rejected what was termed a last plea deal from prosecutors. The deal offered Romanek the option of pleading guilty to the Class 4 felony possession charge in exchange for dropping the distribution charge, and receiving sex offender intensive probation. Following Romanek's rejection of the offer, Deputy District Attorney Josh Ritter permanently withdrew the proposal. 

Romanek's attorney, Theodore McClintock, requested a five-day trial, telling the judge that "the defense case may be significant." The self-described alien abductee accused of possessing and distributing child pornography and his supporters have maintained the charges are unfounded and stem from combinations of conspiracies related to his involvement in ufology and corruption within federal agencies and the Loveland Police Department.

Updates on the Romanek legal case and relevant links may be viewed here.

6 comments:

  1. The offer took the greater offense off the table, but I was curious about Colorado's Sex Offender Supervised Probation. It is my understanding that it imposes strict controls on the offender that could include mandatory contact and home monitoring, treatment, and almost any other condition that is deemed necessary. For a class 4 offense, it would last from 10 years to life. So Stan decided to roll the dice. Good for him.

    If this case goes to trial, it could get interesting very quick. I would love to watch the jury selection. A case may be won or lost before any evidence is heard and the "Colorado Method" for juror voir dire (questioning) is taught in trial skills workshops. I trust that Stan's attorney will want to question jurors about a wide variety of subjects. Given that Stan's credibility may be at issue, would a juror prejudge the case on the basis of his history? Will the court permit open-ended questions about ufos and conspiracy?

    Then there are a number of possibilities for a trial. What will happen to the lead detective when he goes to trial on unrelated events (currently set for April). What defense will Stan offer? If he is found guilty, does the prosecutor have backup plans? Will Stan or Lisa testify? How much of a conspiracy-related defense will the court allow?

    Romanek's attorney anticipates a significant case. I have seen the guilt phase in capital cases be shorter than five days. But there is a lot that could happen between now and then. Perhaps the last offer will not turn out to be the last offer.

    The next pretrial conference is scheduled for July. I hope the trial date proves to be firm, although I wish I was better at crowd-sourcing my way to events such as these. Too bad that Court TV is no longer a thing.

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  2. I'm especially interested in this case after having read/listened up on the John Ford case that is also a cause celebre in some UFO circles. I remember reading Henry Lee's blog in the Hans Reiser trial and would very much like to see some live blogging of this case as it moves through the system.

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  3. Just found this:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1540802959548429&set=a.1438744639754262.1073741827.100008562181534&type=3&theater

    If true, this could get very interesting...

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    1. Read that letter again. A lot of claims of witnessed events, but missing important things such as times, dates, and places. Charges of buying favour ("innocent or not") and mental illness made by someone not in a position to know ("there were rumors").

      Is there a single concrete thing in the letter that the DA could follow up on? Or is this just more fabrication by Romanek and his followers?

      If false, this letter could tack on more years in the sentencing phase.

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  4. According to journalist Lynne, the original of this letter IS in the hands of the District Attorney. Time will tell as to whether this letter has merit. I would imagine this will all come out during Romanek's trial, scheduled to start in August/2016.

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    1. Unless the defense pulls a rabbit from the hat, I am not expecting any of the material in the letter to come out at trial.

      The letter does not have any importance in itself, although the DA should provide a copy to the defense (as well as any exculpatory information that they might have).

      Unless there is evidence to support its allegations, however, I doubt if the trial court will allow Romanek to speculate that Det. Koopman (or anyone else) planted the images on his computer. I assume Colorado law is similar to my state - you would have to have evidence that raises more than a bare suspicion before it could be raised before a jury.

      It is possible that the defense will be able to come up with something. But if I were representing Romanek, I would not be happy that the letter was sent to the DA and posted on the web. It could muddy an investigation.

      With Det. Koopman now acquitted of the charge against him (intentionally giving false testimony to influence a public servant), it will be interesting how that plays out in Rimanek's trial. That he gave false or mistaken testimony in another case was not disputed, so his credibility may be at issue even if it did not constitute criminal conduct. Still, the prosecutor is probably breathing a little easier should Koopman be called to the stand.

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