February 21, 2008
Denver, CO (The Weekly Vice) -- Meredith Hollen, a 40 year old former teacher at Graland Country Day School teacher who faced 12 felony counts of sexual assault on a child was convicted and sentenced. What was her punishment? PROBATION.
Hollen, who no longer resides in the state, pled guilty to sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust. After entering the plea, she was immediately sentenced. As part of a plea agreement, the 11 other counts of sexual assault were dismissed.
Prosecutors, aware that their arrangement with the defendant would outrage the community was quick to point out that the arrangement was made in accordance with the victim child's wishes.
"This case was very much driven by the victim's wishes," said Lynn Kimbrough, a spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's office "This plea agreement didn't have anything to do with her gender."
"A big factor in the probationary sentence was the fact that the victim wished to remain anonymous," she said. "Because of that reason, prosecutors requested that the arrest warrant affidavit, which describes the offenses, remain closed," she added.
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
Well, alright then! It would appear now that under aged children now direct the outcome of criminal cases in Denver. Case closed? Well Ms. Spokesperson, that won't do.
First, victims are protected with anonymity anyhow, and if Denver prosecutors are unable to uphold the law that provides them that, they should be fired.
The whole purpose behind providing a victim an anonymous status is to 1. protect the victims privacy and 2. preserve the integrity of the case. Denver prosecutors, you failed. You failed all the way around. You failed the victim. You failed future victims and you failed the community that depends on you to protect their kids.
Now a teacher indicted on 12 counts of sexual assault on a minor not only flees the state - but avoids jail time and walks away from the crime. We're sorry. Probation is a cop out.
The Denver community should be outraged and remember this case the next time they find themselves at the polling booth. Who is the Attorney General in this state? What kind of a legal system is he presiding over - when teachers are free to assault their children, move out of state and avoid jail time?
The Weekly Vice
bottom photo credit: The Denver Post
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