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Woodland Park detective on leave, accused by court of lying on arrest papers in sexual assault case

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- A detective with the Woodland Park Police Department is on leave after being accused of lying on arrest papers in a sexual assault case.

In court documents obtained by 13 Investigates, Teller County Judge Scott Sells ruled that Woodland Park Police Detective Shannon Everhart made nine false statements in probable cause arrest documents regarding a man accused of multiple sex assaults.

Samuel Harris, 19, faces multiple felony sex assault charges for engaging in sexual relations with multiple underage girls. However, according to court documents, probable cause no longer exists for his January arrest, a felony sex assault charge.

Woodland Park Police Chief Chris Deisler told 13 Investigates Detective Everhart was been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation into Judge Sells' statements in court on October 31.

In a statement, Chief Deisler said:

“Allegations of this nature brought against any member of this department, regardless of the origin, are of serious concern and demand my full attention. Accordingly, an investigation is currently ongoing to gather facts and relevant information necessary to make proper operational decisions based on those findings. I ask for the patience and trust of the community while this process unfolds.“

Chris Deisler, Woodland Park Police Chief

According to a transcript of the hearing on October 31, Judge Scott Sells said the false statements "constitute outrageous conduct." The prosecution cannot use the contents of nine false statements at a future trial, according to Judge Sells.

Court document from Oct. 31 hearing

"Not only did she potentially perjure herself, she may have committed felonies because she signed search warrants, or she committed search warrants to the judge that were false. That's attempting to influence a public servant," Colorado Springs Attorney Jeremy Loew said.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office told 13 Investigates they have filed a motion to request a veracity hearing. A veracity hearing would call into question the suppression of an arrest warrant in a criminal case.

The filing on November 10 is not a public record yet. It has yet to be reviewed or ruled on by Judge Sells.

13 Investigates learned the DA's office is requesting the veracity hearing that would call into question the judge's ruling.

"This is an incredibly rare that a judge would put on the record, that it was outrageous government conduct," Loew said. "It completely destroys their case. Essentially, all of the evidence obtained will now be suppressed."

13 Investigates reached out to Harris' public defender for comment. They told us the policy of the Colorado Public Defenders Office is to not comment on pending litigation.

Harris will be back in court on November 21 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial date has not yet been set. Harris still faces multiple sexual assault charges and misdemeanor probation violations as well.

"If these allegations turn out to be false, Mr. Harris could absolutely have grounds to sue the 4th Judicial District, the Woodland Park Police Department, or Detective Everhart herself," Loew said.

Previous Coverage:

Woodland Park Police arrest man for sexual exploitation of a child

Woodland Park man facing several felony charges for child sexual assault, exploitation

Woodland Park man, suspect in a sexual assault on a child case, faces new, unrelated charges

Woodland Park man facing multiple sex assault charges now has four warrants for his arrest

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Sean Rice

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


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