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Friday, July 23, 2010

[CO] Officer Holman CRUSHED the evidence

Aspen Police Officer Joseph "Joe" Kenney Holman was originally charged with two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, tampering with evidence, child abuse and attempted criminal invasion of privacy. When his 16 year old stepdaughter discovered a tiny movie cam [advertised as “the world’s smallest web-cam” - postitioned in a waterproof case - hidden in a toybag] pointing at her as she disrobed to get into her shower, she told her mother. Her mother called Holman at work. At first he denied he put it there and blamed her 7 year old little brother. The next day he admitted he planted the camera

AND crushed the camera under his foot. 

No camera, no evidence.


...Holman said he never expected the case to enter the criminal arena. Rather, he said he considered it a private family matter. “I never thought of it as a crime”... Prosecutor Jonathan Pototsky said that while Holman said the camera's battery was dead at the time, there was no way of knowing that because the ex-cop destroyed the device... “When a middle-aged man puts a mini-cam in the shower of his 16-year-old stepdaughter, it's for one reason... especially when it's in a toy bag.” Pototsky claimed that even in 2007 and 2008 - before the April 29, 2009, web-cam incident - Holman inappropriately massaged his stepdaughter on at least 10 occasions, and one time planted a mirror, on the end of a stick, in the alleged victim's room. Authorities investigated those incidents, but charges were not filed, partly because the stepdaughter at the time recanted... The alleged victim's mother, Michelle Holman, also the wife of Joe Holman, testified that the ordeal has been “horrible” for the family. She also said she witnessed some of the massages and saw nothing improper about them... [Holman's stepdaughter] testified that her mother persuaded her to change her story in order to keep the family together “My mom reminded me my family would be broken up”... “No doubt [the camera incident] was cruel, immoral and unethical,” [Holman's attorney, Lawson] Wills told the jury. “But it wasn't criminal, and there's no evidence the camera was working”...

EXCERPTS FROM JULY ARTICLES:

EX-ASPEN OFFICER'S CASE COULD BOIL DOWN TO ONE QUESTION: Testimony begins in sexual exploitation trial
The Aspen Times
Rick Carroll
Thursday, July 15, 2010
[Excerpts] Testimony in the sexual exploitation trial of former Aspen police officer Joseph Kenney Holman began Tuesday, and a jury will be pressed with answering one fundamental question: Did Holman plant a video camera in his stepdaughter's shower stall for sexual motivations, or did he do it to make her angry? As far as the prosecution is concerned, when Holman planted the web cam, which was the size of a Ping Pong ball, in a toy bag of the shower stall, it followed a **pattern** of sexual perversion... “When a middle-aged man puts a mini-cam in the shower of his 16-year-old stepdaughter, it's for one reason,” prosecutor Jonathan Pototsky said in opening arguments, “especially when it's in a toy bag.” Pototsky claimed that even in 2007 and 2008 - before the April 29, 2009, web-cam incident - Holman inappropriately massaged his stepdaughter on at least 10 occasions, and one time planted a mirror, on the end of a stick, in the alleged victim's room. Authorities investigated those incidents, but charges were not filed, partly because the stepdaughter at the time recanted the allegations. Holman's attorney, Lawson Wills, however, painted a different picture. While it's indisputable that Holman planted the camera, his motive wasn't of a sexual nature... “No doubt [the camera incident] was cruel, immoral and unethical,” Wills told the jury. “But it wasn't criminal, and there's no evidence the camera was working... It wasn't sexual intent, and that's the issue in this case.” Wills also touted Holman as a working-class Aspen resident who graduated from high school here, served in Desert Storm, and spent 16 years as a city employee, including a 2003-09 stint as a police officer. He also said Holman's emotional instability at the time of the incident was fueled by the recent death of his mother and a cousin's suicide... The alleged victim, who's now 17 and lives with family in California, testified for nearly two hours. Much like her testimony in a June motions hearing, the stepdaughter said she initially recanted her stories about Holman because she wanted to keep the family together. At one time, she even wrote District Attorney Martin Beeson, asking that he not prosecute Holman for the camera incident. Around the same time, she texted Holman, offering her support. But she also told the jury she is a “different person” today than she was when she lived in Aspen in 2009. Back then she drank alcohol, smoked pot on occasion, and lived a lifestyle she does not currently condone. “I'm admitting I lied - to save myself, to save my family, to save everything,” she said. These days, she's living up to her potential as a good Christian, she testified. She said that the camera incident had a deep impact on her, and she wants nothing to do with Holman. “I was very enraged and scared and emotional,” she said. “The first thing I said was, ‘Get me a plane ticket to California.'” But the girl testified that her mother persuaded her to change her story in order to keep the family together. “My mom reminded me my family would be broken up”... The alleged victim's mother, Michelle Holman, also the wife of Joe Holman, testified that the ordeal has been “horrible” for the family. However, she told the jury she never coached or persuaded her daughter to change or alter her story to keep the family intact. She also said she witnessed some of the massages and saw nothing improper about them... [Full article here]

ALLEGED VICTIM, MOTHER TESTIFY AS EX-APD OFFICER TRIAL BEGINS: Defense claims Holman’s intent was not sexual
Aspen Daily News
by Andrew Travers
Thursday, July 15, 2010
[Excerpts] Former Aspen police officer Joe Holman’s defense is not contesting that he placed a small video camera in his stepdaughter’s shower last year, or that he destroyed it after the teenager found it. But they argue he committed no crime in doing so because his intent was not to video tape the youngster with the camera. In his opening statement Wednesday morning, defense attorney H. Lawson Wills said the 39-year-old Holman putting the camera in the shower “is probably the biggest mistake of his life,” but not criminal... Before leaving for his patrol shift with the APD on April 29, 2009, Holman placed the ping pong ball-sized camera in a toy bag in the girl’s shower... The girl saw it while starting to take a shower... She showed it to her mother... He initially insinuated that their 8-year-old son may have put it in the shower. He later crushed it with his foot, in front of his wife and her daughter... Testimony from the alleged victim, now 17, portrayed a strained stepdaughter-stepfather relationship... In 2008 she accused Holman of touching her inappropriately during massages and attempting to spy on her by placing a mirror under her door... [Full article here]

ASPEN EX-COP: ‘THE GUILT IS NEVER GOING TO GO AWAY': Holman testifies in video-camera case
The Aspen Times
Rick Carroll
Friday, July 16, 2010
[Excerpts] ...[Former Aspen police officer Joseph] Holman told a jury he wrecked his family and lives with the guilt every day. “I've ruined 10 years of my life, and the life of my [stepdaughter], my son and my wife,” Holman testified. “My guilt is constant. The guilt is never going to go away... I can't expect my family to be all right with what I did because it's not all right,” he said, later adding, “I ruined my family.” Holman's testimony highlighted the trial's third day in Pitkin County District Court, where he's accused of planting a miniature digital camera in the shower stall of his stepdaughter, for sexual purposes, on April 29, 2009. The stepdaughter discovered the camera, which was placed in a toy bag but in plain view, the same day. He initially denied he planted the camera, but the next morning Holman confessed to his wife that he'd done it. Holman said his motives, however, were not sexually driven as claimed by the prosecution, which has charged him with two felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child, along with evidence tampering, also a felony... Believing that his stepdaughter was paranoid, and angry himself, Holman said he planted the camera to make her mad. He also said the camera was not working at the time and he had no intentions of capturing images of her...Prosecutor Jonathan Pototsky said that while Holman said the camera's battery was dead at the time, there was no way of knowing that because the ex-cop destroyed the device... Holman said he never expected the case to enter the criminal arena. Rather, he said he considered it a private family matter. “I never thought of it as a crime,” he said, adding that “I wasn't thinking clearly in that time frame. My intentions were to make her mad ... I didn't expect it to go as far as it did”... Testimony from another witness for the prosecution, Kimberly Hilderbrand, the youth and family services manager for Pitkin County Health and Human Services, which initially opened the case, was dismissed. That's because Hilderbrand discussed evidence that the defense had not been made privy to until she took the stand... [Full article here]

ASPEN EX-COP ACQUITTED OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION CHARGES IN JURY TRIAL: But he's found guilty of felony evidence tampering
The Aspen Times
Rick Carroll
Saturday, July 17, 2010
[Excerpts] A Pitkin County jury Friday acquitted ex-Aspen police officer Joseph Kenney Holman of two counts of attempting to sexually exploit his stepdaughter by planting a camera in her shower stall last year. But the nine-woman, three-man panel found Holman guilty of the class-six felony charge of tampering with evidence, and a misdemeanor count of attempted invasion of privacy. Holman's family members hugged after the jury left the courtroom... Had Holman been convicted of the attempted sexual exploitation charges, he would have had to register as a sex offender and undergo counseling, among other sanctions. He also faced up to 20 years behind bars if convicted of all four counts. He now faces up to 18 months in jail with the evidence tampering conviction, but because he has no criminal background, probation appears likely. Sentencing is set for Aug. 30... “The verdict, being a non-sexual offense, is a substantial benefit for Joe Holman,” [Holman's attorney, Lawson] Wills said... Friday's closing arguments attorneys told jurors they were taxed with judging Holman's intent when he planted the camera in his then 16-year-old stepdaughter's shower stall... The same day Holman planted the camera, his daughter found it, then told her mother. The mother immediately called Holman at the police department, where he was working the night shift, and confronted him about the discovery. Testimony shows that Holman returned home, denied that he had done it, blamed his 7-year-old son and destroyed the camera by stomping on it. “Not only does he deny it, he blames his 7-year-old son,” Pototsky said in closing arguments. “If he did it to piss her off, why would he blame his 7-year-old son?” The destruction of the camera implied that Holman knew he was in trouble, and there were possibly images of his stepdaughter in the camera, Pototsky said. “When you step on it, good-bye evidence. And Joe knew that,” Pototsky told the jury... [Full article here]

EARLIER:

ASPEN COP, ACCUSED OF SEX CRIMES AND CHILD ABUSE, RESIGNS
The Aspen Times
Wyatt Haupt Jr.
Friday, June 26, 2009
[Excerpts] An Aspen police officer — accused of child abuse and trying to sexually exploit a minor in a bathroom at the officer's home — was arrested Wednesday and has since resigned. Joseph Holman, 38, is accused of two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, tampering with evidence, child abuse and attempted criminal invasion of privacy, court records show... The camera was “discovered in a toy bag in the bathtub,” according to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation affidavit. The bureau was brought in to assist at the request of the sheriff's office. The victim told authorities that on April 29 she went to take a shower. She said she “started the shower, opened the curtain and was about to start undressing when she saw something out of place in the front of the toy bag,” the affidavit states. She said the “object was kind of obvious because it had a yellow ring around it.” The yellow ring turned out to be the seal of a waterproof case for the camera. The battery-powered camera was the size of a ping-pong ball, the affidavit says. When the victim told somebody in the house about the device, a telephone call was made to Holman, who returned to the house. He allegedly said he did not know how the device got in the bag. At some point that night he apparently asked someone at the residence: “Do you think I did it as a pervert move?” Shortly thereafter, Holman destroyed the camera by stomping on it, the court papers say. The following morning he allegedly admitted to placing the camera in the bag, saying that “he was very angry at [the victim] for the way she has acted in the past few weeks.” Investigators learned that Holman allegedly used his department-provided laptop to view “the digital images recorded by the camera.”... [Full article here]
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