Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Former Springs cop had 22 victims, prosecutors allege

LANCE BENZEL AND EMILY WILKINS Updated: July 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

A former Colorado Springs police officer facing allegations of abusing children is now accused of sexually assaulting 22 victims — up from six.

Prosecutors added new victims and more than doubled the felony sex assault counts against Joshua Carrier, 30, at a Tuesday hearing in 4th Judicial District Court, raising the the number of charges from 78 to 189.

Prosecutor Andrew Bryant said he couldn’t provide details of the new allegations.

“It’s a similar nature of the previous filed charges,” he said.

Court documents in the case have been sealed, but a parent told The Gazette that Carrier, a former school resource officer and middle school wrestling coach, abused her son under the pretense of examining him for ringworm.

It’s unclear if the other alleged attacks followed a similar pattern.

Carrier’s defense attorney, Christopher Decker, blamed the new allegations on “fear, innuendo and guilty assumptions” — and on accusers seeking to profit from a lawsuit against the embattled former officer.

“While these charges are profuse, they are not proof of anything,” Decker said in a written statement in which he blasted the District Attorney’s Office for its “hubris.”

Carrier, a seven-year police veteran, resigned June 30 rather than fight his termination by the Police Department.

He also faces earlier charges of possessing child pornography — allegations that ultimately led to his arrest on suspicion of inappropriately touching children, after alleged victims began stepping forward.

Also present at the court hearing were family members of victims and their attorney, Rick Levinson, who plans to sue on their behalf. Levinson said he represents 12 of the named victims. A lawsuit is still months away, he said.

Carrier worked with children as a school resource officer at Horace Mann Middle School in Colorado Springs School District 11, a coach in the Police Athletic League, and an advisor in a program in which children shadow police officers.

Police arrested Carrier on May 11 after a probe by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations led to evidence that he might have been involved in trading lewd images of children online.

In a search of Carrier’s home, officers said they found pictures of nude children on his personal computer and a child pornography DVD next to his bed. At the time, police said they did not believe Carrier had acted improperly with children on the job. Eight days later, however, Carrier was re-arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting children. He is being held in El Paso County jail on a $500,000 bond.

Carrier is due to return to court Sept. 15 for a preliminary hearing, when a judge will decide if he will be brought to trial on the charges.

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Call the writer at 636-0366.

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