Colorado sanctuary policies enable suspect to skip trial for sexual assault on a child

Court records seen by CBS Denver show police investigators opened a case against Francisco Barraza-Porras, age 47, in September of 2018. Prosecutors in Boulder County, Colorado eventually charged him with four felony counts involving an underage victim, to all of which he pleaded not guilty.

The dates of the alleged sexual assaults cover a 10-year span, implying they began when the victim was no older than 5 years of age.

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials had lodged a detainer request with Boulder County authorities, since he was known was to ICE as something referred to by those with delicate sensibilities as an “undocumented immigrant”.

Detainers are used by ICE to request that an illegal alien already held in a state or county prison be turned over to ICE, to begin deportation procedures, in order to prevent his being released back into the community.

CBS Denver spoke with an ICE representative who said Boulder County never alerted them of Francisco Barraza-Porras’s presence while he was in jail or in court. Evidently the ICE detainer was ignored, in accordance with Colorado's sanctuary state policies.

In May 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed legislation prohibiting state and local law enforcement from honoring immigration detainers.

Suspect in child sexual assault case skips court

Since last week, authorities in Boulder County have been asking the public for help in locating the suspect, since he didn’t show up for the start of his trial on charges of sexual assault on a child.

A new, second warrant for Barraza-Porras’s arrest was issued on March 2nd, by the Boulder County District Court judge who was scheduled to preside over the trial on that day. The new warrant’s bond is $100,000; which is much larger than the $5,000 bond the suspect paid in January 2019, to be released from police custody.

Since Barraza-Porras’s release, no online court record suggests he was absent from any of the proceedings — until the day of the trial.

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