In 2002 Charles Farrar was convicted of several counts of sexual assault on a minor. The victim, his daughter, Sacha, accused him and her mother of “forcing her into sexual encounters from the age of eleven until she was fifteen,” according to Westword. Now nine years into his sentence, Farrar is appealing on the basis of inadequate representation and prosecutorial misconduct.
There was no physical evidence in this case and it was instead built off the testimony of the young victim. A few months after testifying against Farrar refused to testify against her mother and ultimately recanted her entire story, saying she made the whole thing up to go live with her grandparents. This recantation wasn’t enough to get Farrar off the hook, however, as a judge ruled it was no more reliable than the initial accusations that Sacha levied.
Since that time, Sacha has stood by her recantation. She is now an adult and maintains that the sexual abuse never happened. But Farrar was not granted a new trial and the conviction was upheld by a narrowly divided state Supreme Court in 2009.
Farrar is trying again, this time alleging his defense team didn’t do enough to investigate the child’s claims at the time, even failing to contact key witnesses. He also alleges prosecutors failed to disclose information that could have resulted in a different outcome at trial, violating his rights.
Once convicted, someone can go through the appeals process, typically claiming their rights have in some way been violated and asking for a new trial or a dismissal of the case. As they raise the issues and the appeals courts strike them down, they are unable to revisit that particular issue but can continue to appeal on the basis of other issues. Once there are no longer any issues to raise, no other legal objections on how the case was handled, their appeals are said to be “exhausted”.
This latest request filed by Farrar was submitted via a handwritten request. It seems Farrar is working on his own now and has no attorney to handle his appeals.
Hindsight is 20/20 and although Farrar may have seen the alleged injustices taking place while his case was in the trial stage, many people convicted of criminal offenses don’t see the problems until long after they have passed and they are serving their sentence.
The key is to avoid a conviction in the first place and though that’s not always possible, having a local defense attorney on your side may improve your chances.
If you are charged with a sex crime or other criminal offense in Colorado and in need of advice, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation on your case.