Child sex offender serving 300 years is freed from prison - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Child sex offender serving 300 years is freed from prison

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Colorado Department of Corrections Colorado Department of Corrections
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -

A man sentenced to more than 300 years for violent sex offenses against children was freed from prison on Tuesday.

NBC 11 reports that 46-year-old Michael McFadden, who was convicted in 2015 of sexual assault against six children. How did he become a free man after such a severe crime? The answer lies in a technicality. 

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that McFadden's statutory right to a speedy trial was violated when the presiding judge granted a continuance.

It matters because McFadden has prior sexual offenses.

"Because those facts were coming in, the defense had submitted a jury questionnaire, which addressed his prior conduct on whether or not they could be fair," Dan Rubinstein, the Mesa County District Attorney told NBC 11.

Rubinstein told NBC 11 that the judge didn't read the questionnaire until halfway through the new jury selection, and when he finally did, the judge decided McFadden couldn't get a fair trial. So, he granted a continuance.

"Because the error here was that he shouldn't have been tried longer than 6 months from the last time he waived speedy trial, there was no remedy for that and therefore there is no ability to retry him," said Rubinstein.

NBC 11 reports that the Mesa County DA did appeal the courts' decision to overturn his conviction, but the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear it.

Now, McFadden is exonerated of all the charges and does not have to register as a sex offender because his prior sex offenses were before the registry statute.

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