Last month, 28-year-old Jared Bates pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman who was unconscious.
Denver Judge John Madden sentenced Bates to 45 days in jail and five years probation. He was also required to register as a sex offender in Arapahoe County within five days of his sentencing.
Three weeks later, Bates still hasn't registered.
Now, Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office is promising to file felony charges against Bates if he doesn't register by Friday morning.
9NEWS reporter Lori Lizarraga tracked down a local defense attorney, Jeffrey Wolf at Wolf Law, to answer some questions about probation violations.
(Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for context and clarity.)
9NEWS: How often do people violate the terms of their probation?
Wolf: We get calls about probation violations or accusations of probation violations almost every day.
Is it common that someone will purposefully avoid registering as a sex offender, even if it puts them at risk of much more serious charges?
Wolf: That happens. I’m not saying it’s super common, but it happens.
The reasons that somebody might not register can vary greatly. A lot of times, you'll hear somebody say, "I didn’t know I had to register" or "I thought it was done automatically."
There are any number of reasons. He [Bates] could be avoiding it on purpose. He could be making a mistake.
But you don't feel that Bates or any probation violators will get away with their violations, do you?
Wolf: It’s going to work itself out. It always will. There are dedicated detectives investigating these things. There are dedicated district attorneys prosecuting these things. There are dedicated defense attorneys mitigating and defending these things.
If he hasn't registered, then a law enforcement agency is aware of that. They have a detective dedicated to that unit who is going to be attempting to locate him and get to the bottom of what’s going on. And quite frankly, the victim also has you [9NEWS]."
What do you want viewers to take away from this story?
Wolf: I think the thing that’s important for people to understand is to try to have empathy on all sides of this. To see that not only is the victim's family dealing with this, not only is the defendant and his family dealing with this, but law enforcement is dealing with it, too.
The reality of the situation is the criminal justice system is full of tasks and full of people working very hard to complete those tasks for whatever side they're working for.
There are no winners in these cases. There are no losers. There’s just everybody being affected.
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