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Accused sexual predators repeatedly freed by a Southern Colorado District Attorney’s actions


FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Over the last several months, 13 Investigates uncovered several cases impacting the most vulnerable people in our community that have been plagued by the 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley's Office failing to turn over evidence in a timely manner.

13 Investigates found seven sexual assaults on children and women, and unlawful sexual contact no consent cases impacted by this conduct.

The actions of the District Attorney's Office have either resulted in outright dismissals or the accused being released on a PR bond by judges as a form of sanctions against Stanley's office.

All of the information below was obtained by 13 Investigates through court documents.

Brandon Allen, 39, of Florence was previously charged with sexual assault on a child. His case was outright dismissed by Stanley's office after a judge found countless discovery violations. Before the dismissal, his bond was converted to a PR bond. Since then, his records were sealed, but not before 13 Investigates received them from the courts. Court records indicate the Florence Police Department had evidence that Allen was placing his hands down a young girl's underwear several times, which the young girl described made her "uncomfortable."

Derek Thulson, 29, had his case dismissed on April 17. He was out of jail on a $5,000 PR bond after a judge reduced his bond because of prejudicial discovery violations by the DA's office. He was previously charged with sexual assault.

For Zachary Hogan, 28, a district judge's order states that his $15,000 cash-only bond got reduced to a PR bond because court records his defense team said they didn't have all the evidence before a preliminary hearing in June 2022. Hogan was originally charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child. He took a plea deal offered by the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office down to misdemeanor sexual contact without consent and was sentenced to six months in jail by a Fremont County Judge.

Jerry Sparks, 62, is accused of internet luring and sexual exploitation of a child and faced multiple felony charges tied to this behavior. His defense team said Stanley's office had not provided them with any evidence 37 days after being charged in December 2022. He is now back in the community on a $1,000 PR bond. He accepted a plea agreement in February 2023 that dismisses all of his felony charges. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sexual contact no consent charge and will be sentenced on May 15. Based on this, Sparks is only eligible for a short jail sentence and can receive probation.

Jeremy Gerrard Jr., 24, had sex assault on a child case was dismissed by Stanley's office in December 2021 after it was marred with delays because of discovery violations. His defense team alleged that the prosecution was in possession of over 180 pages of discovery but withheld them because they "mistakenly believed it had been uploaded and sent to the Public Defender." They alleged there was an "apparent lack of oversight and supervision in the discovery process within the Office of the District Attorney."

Brandon Wright, 22, had his misdemeanor sex contact no consent case dismissed after his defense team alleged they didn't have a forensic interview, social media evidence, etc. even after a judge mandated the DA's office to do on March 1, 2023. His defense team cited numerous other cases where they experienced similar issues as reasons for a "pattern and practice" of violations by the DA's office.

Timothy Neely, 33, had his sex assault on a child case dismissed by Stanley's office after repeated discovery violations. He still faces multiple felony charges like burglary, but the DA's office offered him favorable plea deals down reduced felonies or misdemeanors. He is scheduled to be sentenced on these cases in May and June.

With these accused sexual predators back in the community, where does that leave the citizens in Fremont, Chaffee, and Park counties?

13 Investigates learned citizens and crime victims are in the process of filing Victims' Rights Act violation claims against the DA's office.

One of those concerned citizens, Tom Chelston, has been in contact with victims of the Neely case. 13 Investigates learned the victims fear not only the predator, but they fear the wrath and the retribution of Stanley's office for voicing their concerns.

"This could very well impact other cases, because let's face it, we see a pattern and practice of the DA's office failing miserably on Rule 16," said Chelston.

Stanley has already been under investigation by the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel for over a year and a half after Chelston filed a series of complaints, as did Iris Eytan, the defense attorney for Barry Morphew.

The OARC confirmed to 13 Investigates they are investigating Stanley, but would not comment further on when a ruling will come down.

13 Investigates asked Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser's Office where his office stands on the conduct of Stanley and her prosectors. A spokesperson said they are "aware of some concerns," but stopped short of saying they are investigating.

In addition, Colorado Governor Jared Polis' Office issued this statement:

"The Governor does not have any legal authority to remove or discipline a District Attorney for procedural violations in court. The Office of Attorney Regulation has discipline authority over attorneys, including district attorneys. The Governor’s Office is monitoring the situation."

- Conor Cahill, Press Secretary for Governor Jared Polis

"When the people that swore to protect you are a threat to you, something's got to be done," Chelston said. "Stop the harm. If there's one child that's at risk, one family member that's been told, if you say anything, I'm going to kill you know from a sex offender, i'd say that has to happen first. Stop it. Suspend the DA pending investigation completion. Period."

Despite several dozen attempts to reach DA Stanley for comment on these cases, and others, since March, she has refused to respond to 13 Investigates.

Do you have a tip you want 13 investigates to look into? Email us at

Editor's note: A previous version of this article inadvertently stated Zachary Hogan's case was dismissed and sealed due to discovery violations. 13 Investigates could not locate online court records in Colorado with his name connected to those charges. After further review, 13 Investigates discovered his case number was still active in the court record despite the online records not showing up with a name search. 

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Sean Rice

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


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