Grand Junction, CO – A Colorado man who was sentenced to more than 300 years in prison for child sex crimes was released on a technicality on Tuesday.
The district attorney who worked to put the pervert behind bars said he was “appalled.”
Michael McFadden, 46, was convicted of sexually assaulting six boys and girls in 2015, according to KKCO-TV. He appealed that conviction, citing pre-trial delays that violated state laws requiring a speedy trial.
In June of 2017, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in McFadden’s favor, and threw out the conviction. The court also said McFadden’s case could not be re-tried.
When the Colorado Supreme Court refused to review the Court of Appeals’ ruling, McFadden became a free man.
McFadden had been convicted on 19 counts, as well as being a habitual sex offender.
According to the Colorado Department of Corrections, if McFadden had served his sentence, he would have been slated to spend a minimum of 316 years behind bars, KKCO reported.
McFadden was released Feb. 27 from the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, KDVR-TV reported. He does not have to register as a sex offender.
Mesa County District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein gave a detailed explanation of what happened in the case to Blue Lives Matter.
According to Rubinstein, on two occasions the defense asked for a continuance and waived McFadden’s right to a speedy trial in order to secure the continuance.
Prior to the third trial date, there was a jury questionnaire drafted by the defense which referenced a prior offense by McFadden.
Rubinstein said both parties were comfortable with that because the court had already ruled that the prior offense was going to be admissible.
After the questionnaire was passed out to the jury, the judge noticed the reference to the prior offense.
Rubinstein told Blue Lives Matter the judge admitted he had not read the questionnaire.
The judge determined that the defense was partly at fault for the jury hearing about the prior offense, and said a court of appeals would find it to be “plain error” to move forward with the jury pool who had gotten the questionnaire.
The judge granted a continuance for the trial over the objection of the defense, and found that the defense’s role in the incident waived McFadden’s statutory right for his case to be tried within six months.
The court of appeals said that the trial court erred in determining that a continuance was required.
“I am appalled that our justice system, in which a jury of the defendant's peers which the defendant helped choose, unanimously found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of sexually offending against six innocent victims, yet the court of appeals vacated the convictions after finding that the trial courts efforts to protect the defendant's constitutional rights to a fair trial violate an arbitrary statutory right that the defendant had waived on two prior occasions,” Rubinstein said in an email.