Convicted rapist and court-designated sexually violent predator Christopher Lawyer was denied parole following a hearing on Monday.
The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, which opposed Lawyer’s release, said it was informed of the decision Wednesday morning by the Colorado Board of Parole.
“Generally, our office actively supports opportunities for incarcerated individuals to return to our community, including through restorative justice and re-entry programs,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said in a statement. “The one, glaring exception is when the public would be placed at serious risk by the release of a particular individual. Mr. Lawyer would present a true danger to community safety, as demonstrated by his criminal conduct as well as the number and nature of his parole violations. For those reasons, the DA’s Office strongly opposed his release and we will continue to do so.
“I am grateful to the outstanding staff of our sex assault unit, especially Deputy District Attorney Jessica Dotter, for their excellent work on behalf of the victims and community members put at risk by Mr. Lawyer’s potential release. The parole board reached the right decision.”
Lawyer, 44, had his parole revoked last year after his second violation in as many years since being released in 2016, and was sent back to prison to continue serving his original sentence of 12 years to life.
He will now have to wait until July 2020 before he can reapply for release. He is currently being housed at Centennial Correctional Facility in Canon City, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections inmate database.
Dotter went to the hearing on Monday to represent the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.
“Every red flag exists with Mr. Lawyer, from his original crimes to the parole failures in the past,” Dotter said in a statement. “It should not cost another victim of sexual assault to recognize that he is not fit for release into the community at this time.”
In 2000, Lawyer kidnapped a woman who was delivering newspapers at the Gold Run apartments in Boulder, forced her into her own 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 day before the rape, Lawyer forced his way into a University Hill home and attempted to rape a different woman at knifepoint. That woman was injured, but managed to escape when her roommate showed up.
Lawyer pleaded guilty in 2001 to first-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault and misdemeanor menacing, and was designated a sexually violent predator by the courts.
When Lawyer was released in 2016, he moved in with his mother in Boulder but had his parole revoked after he was found to be in possession of violent pornography.
Following a 180-day prison sentence for that violation, Lawyer was released again in Boulder County, but was met with community resistance wherever he tried to move, including in Boulder, Longmont and Jamestown.
Lawyer eventually had his parole transferred to California, but was returned to Colorado after more parole violations in that state.