Colorado Springs police officer back on the job after acquittal

Sgt. Brad Pratt, 45

A veteran Colorado Springs police officer who was acquitted Tuesday of criminal trespassing has returned to work, Lt. Catherine Buckley, a police spokeswoman, said Wednesday.

Police said Sgt. Bradley Pratt was placed unpaid administrative leave June 14, nearly two months after he was arrested on suspicion of entering his ex-girlfriend's house without her permission.

A jury deliberated fewer than 20 minutes and found Pratt not guilty of one count of first-degree criminal trespassing.

In a news release, Buckley said a police employee is allowed to use accrued paid time off while on unpaid leave.

"With the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, the Colorado Springs Police Department will conduct an administrative investigation," Buckley said in the release.

Pratt was hired by the police department on Feb. 4, 2003, and patrolled the southeast side of Colorado Springs before becoming a detective in the violent crimes unit.

According to court testimony, Pratt received a text message April 19 from Sandra Evans, whom he met less than two weeks earlier through an online dating website. Evans wrote, "You think it's funny to (expletive) with us like that? Really? I don't see this working. Please leave me alone. Don't contact me again."

Pratt testified that he did not see the message until an hour later, when he pulled into her driveway and left her an expletive-filled voicemail saying he wanted to fix the relationship. He waited inside her home after using a key that Evans gave to him a week after they met online, he testified.

According to a protection ordered filed by Evans, Pratt was in her home when she returned about 5:35 a.m. the following day. Evans testified Monday that the house reeked of alcohol. She took a shower and later told Pratt to give her the key and leave - which he did - before she called the police.

She told authorities that she was concerned about Pratt driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Later that morning, Pratt was arrested at his home. He testified that he did not know he was accused of criminal trespassing until he was handcuffed.

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Chhun Sun is The Gazette's morning breaking news reporter. A Thailand-born Cambodian-American, he joined The Gazette's staff in April 2015 — covering everything from public safety to sports and outdoors to local/state politics.

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