‘Christopher Lawyer, convicted rapist spurned by nearby towns, met with Boulder resistance’

Read the story from the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

Failed attempts to relocate Christopher Lawyer in recent weeks has left the convicted rapist at the doorstep of a resistant Boulder community.

A community meeting on Monday night held to notify surrounding neighbors of Lawyer’s Boulder move drew more than 100 outraged residents.

Lawyer, 42, will occupy a parole bed at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless at 4869 Broadway, police announced last week.

Lawyer’s move has been met with blunt opposition from Boulder County residents — early backlash from Jamestown and Longmont residents served to rebuff Lawyer’s first relocation attempts — and by anxious local officials, who have struggled to provide any lasting assurances for neighbors’ safety concerns as they operate within the limits of Colorado statute.

His move to a local homeless shelter comes as a “last resort,” Boulder spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly said Monday.

The shelter “is his last stop before being homeless,” Cordingly said. “We want to know where he is at all times. He can choose to become homeless in the city of Boulder, and then we’ll lose that extra set of eyes on him.”

The Colorado Department of Corrections is paying the Boulder shelter $280 a week to house the convicted rapist, officials said last week.

“This was not a decision that was up to us,” Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones told residents who had packed into Centennial Middle School’s auditorium on Monday night. “This is not a decision we are happy with; we are profoundly concerned about the safety of this community.”

Jones said that she did not like the idea of “women in this community to be guinea pigs to see if this man has been rehabilitated.”

In 2000, Lawyer kidnapped a Boulder woman who was delivering newspapers at the Gold Run apartments, forced her into her vehicle and taped her eyes and mouth shut. Lawyer drove the woman to another location, raped her for more than an hour at gunpoint and attempted to make casual conversation afterward.

The meeting’s planned question-and-answer session quickly devolved into shouting and cross-talk. Residents — most of whom declined to identify themselves for this story — grew frustrated with local officials’ “non-answers,” as one resident said.

“We want our women to be successful,” one man shouted, “not Mr. Lawyer.”

Another asked: “Where are the people who are responsible for letting (Lawyer) out of jail?”

Lawyer initially petitioned to live in the Bar-K neighborhood near Jamestown following his release from prison in late April. Locals argued that the remoteness of the community and limited cell service placed it out of reach of any immediate police response.

“I can’t put him back in prison,” said Melissa Gallardo, a manager with the Colorado Department of Corrections, noting that Lawyer’s stay at the shelter is preferable to him being homeless. “If he is out on the street, he will be moving from place to place, and there’s a high likelihood of losing track of him.”

Lawyer then moved to Longmont, but de-registered late last month with Longmont police and registered in Boulder.

Until September, he lived with his mother at 1265 Mallard Court east of Boulder. But he was sent back to prison for 180 days in December after he was found to have violated his parole by possessing pornography.

Lawyer is believed to be the first person convicted in Boulder County to be labeled a “sexually violent predator” — a term reserved for certain sex offenders who appear likely to re-offend.

He pleaded guilty in 2001 to first-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault and misdemeanor menacing in connection with the rape of the newspaper carrier.

“This is the second meeting like this that my staff has attended in recent months about the same person,” Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said. “This is a complicated, but we want to make sure we maintain public safety and protect the community.”

Lisa McCall sits in an aisle during a packed community notification meeting about "sexually violent predator" Christopher Lawyer on Monday

Lisa McCall sits in an aisle during a packed community notification meeting about “sexually violent predator” Christopher Lawyer on Monday evening at Centennial Middle School in Boulder. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

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I didn’t attend this meeting, and the story doesn’t mention it, but did anyone attempt to ask whoever was representing Boulder Shelter for the Homeless how they would react if and when Mr. Lawyer applies to enter BSH’s 9-month Transition Program? At $280 per week, I fully expect that Greg Harms (executive director) and the other apologists / enablers will want this rapist to hang around as long as possible . . . After all, other program residents only pay $25 per week, unless that fee is waived because they do extra chores:

— MRW

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