Created in 2005, the Special Victims Unit is the first
of its kind in the State of Colorado. Seven Deputy District Attorneys are assigned to handle felony sexual
assaults, felony child abuse and homicides, assaults against the elderly and at-risk adults, and sex offender
registration violations. By pairing a prosecution team with each victim in need of special attention, the
District Attorney's Office can more effectively prosecute serious offenders and uphold the rights of the victims.
SVU prosecution takes the efforts of many. Throughout the
process of resolving cases either by a guilty plea or jury verdict, the Special Victims Unit could not lead
successful prosecutions without community partnerships. To assist law enforcement, the SVU has a weekly
staffing period open and available to all officers who are working on a SVU case. In addition to on-going
consultations at any time during the week, the staffing period is designed for law enforcement officers and
prosecutors to communicate about cases prior to the case being filed.
Safe Passage of the Pikes Peak Region provides support to law
enforcement and the SVU by providing forensic interview services, hosting specialized trainings
on child abuse topics, victim advocacy and trial support. For meeting the medical needs of adult
and child sexual assault victims and collection of forensic evidence,
the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program provides valuable support and trial testimony for the SVU.
During 2007, SVU completed two trials that integrated the work of the Internet Crimes Against Childred
(ICAC) Unit, prosecuting charges of child pornography. In addition, the first trial in our jurisdiction based
solely on a John Doe warrant was completed in 2007. A "John Doe" warrant is where the suspect
of the sexual assault is completely unknown at the time the crime is committed, and the Colorado Bureau
of Investigation is able to establish a DNA profile and a warrant is issued based on the profile (instead
of a person's name).
SVU will continue its service to the communty by being the
advocates for child victims of physical and sexual abuse, adult victims of sexual abuse, and at-risk victims.