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Woodland Park man accused of multiple child sex assaults now on lesser bond

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- 13 Investigates has learned a Woodland Park man facing multiple child sexual assault charges has posted bond.

13 Investigates has learned a Woodland Park man facing multiple child sexual assault charges is free after posting a bond significantly lower than his first arrest.

According to the Woodland Park Police Department, Samuel Harris of Park County was arrested in late May on four felony charges. They all related to sexual assault and exploitation of a minor, a Class Four Felony.

Harris is also accused of filming "sex acts" between two children, sexually assaulting a 14-year-old child, and selling sexually explicit photos of underage children through Snapchat.

After his first arrest, Harris posted a $20,000 bond on May 28, 2022.

On July 14, 2022, the WPPD announced Harris had been arrested for a second time for an unrelated sexual assault on a child case.

In that case, he's accused of assaulting a 13-year-old girl multiple times. At one point, the victim thought she might be pregnant.

In the affidavit, family members of the victim told investigators that she spent time with Harris after his initial release.

Through court documents, 13 Investigates learned that Harris told the victim "you know I can get in a lot of trouble for this hanging around y'all."

The minor told police she "didn't tell anyone because she knew that he would get in trouble."

Harris was arrested on July 13, 2022. He was able to post a lesser bond, $10,000, and was released back into the community.

13 Investigates has learned that Harris was on probation at the time of his May arrest for the first sexual assault on a child case.

He had been sentenced to two 12-month probationary sentences related to multiple plea deals in 2021. The initial charges were attempting to influence a public servant and violation of a protection order.

13 Investigates spoke to a legal expert about why Harris might've been allowed to not only be released but be released with a lesser bond.

"That's very concerning. The judges don't want our community at risk. However, it wouldn't make sense for somebody to be bonded a $20,000 sex assault bond and then immediately pick up a new case and be given a $10,000 sex assault bond," Colorado Springs attorney Jeremy Loew said.

"When you are considered an adult, you should know better than having sex with a girl that could be potentially pre-pubescent. It's not okay," Loew said.

Loew said it is highly likely that the judge or district attorney learn of his previous criminal record and prior sex assault arrest and revoke bond. However, it isn't certain because Harris is entitled to a bond.

"Everyone in Colorado is entitled to bond unless you commit a Felony One. The judge or district attorney will likely revoke bond and set it at an elevated amount. That judge is going to elevate that bond and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a six-figure amount," Loew said.

Harris's second arrest included a no bond warrant. However, that was changed the next day when Teller County Judge Scott Sells granted Harris the additional bond.

"He had a criminal history. He wasn't able to learn his lesson and continued to pick up new cases," Loew said. "The judge should look at 'you're on probation, you should have known better, you shouldn't be doing this and I have to take that into consideration as well."

Harris will be back in court on August 1.

13 Investigates reached out to Judge Sells on his decision. We were told he's unable to comment publicly on cases pending before any court under the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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