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No rape charges for Colorado deputy who admitted to ‘sexual misconduct’ while on-duty

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Image: Former Deputy Brandon Donahue via Adams Co. Sheriff

Prosecutors in Adams County, Colorado have said they will not press charges against a 25-year-old sheriff’s deputy who was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman.

According to the Denver Post, prosecutors said that the Sheriff’s Department’s investigative team assigned to former deputy Brandon Donahue’s case failed to follow proper procedure.

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The district attorney’s office said in a press release, “The Adams County Sheriff’s Office conducted the entire investigation without any assistance or meaningful consultation with the (District Attorney’s Office) regarding the evidence that would support the filing of a criminal charge.”

“The investigation and subsequent arrest of the sheriff’s deputy did not comport with the established protocol for this type of investigation,” the statement continued. “There are insufficient facts to support the filing of the criminal charge against the involved sheriff’s deputy.”

“The determination for making an arrest on probable cause is much different than that for filing a criminal case,” the statement went on to say. “To charge a crime, the district attorney must be satisfied there is a reasonable likelihood of securing a criminal conviction beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.”

The sheriff’s department responded that it had done everything necessary to formulate a case against Donahue, who claimed the sexual contact with the woman was consensual. The victim reported the case on Oct. 9 and Donahue was arrested and fired from the department last Wednesday.

At a Friday news conference Sheriff Michael McIntosh said that Donahue has admitted to “sexual misconduct while on-duty” and that he knew the victim. He declined to elaborate beyond that, however.

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Court records on the case, the Post said, remain sealed.

“His actions in no way reflect the professional standards we have established in this office,” said McIntosh.

Donahue’s lawyer Reid Elkus told KUSA news on Monday, “My client is very thrilled that he doesn’t have to defend this case, and his life is going to move forward now.”

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(Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Brandon Donahue had admitted to sexual assault. The deputy admitted to “sexual misconduct” but nothing criminal.)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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