A Boulder County judge on Tuesday agreed to let a man accused of being the "Potty Peeper" act as his own attorney, but Luke Chrisco will be provided with an advisory counsel.
During a lengthy advisement hearing Tuesday morning, Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill asked the 31-year-old Chrisco about his legal experience and his ability to represent himself.
The judge also repeatedly warned Chrisco about the risks of acting as his own attorney, according to the Daily Camera
"I understand that I can make a mistake, and I take that liability with limited liability," Chrisco said, according to the Camera. "For the cause of justice, I'm willing to assume any risk."
Chrisco said he studied rhetoric and the philosophy of common law for several hours a week over a five-month period in Tucson, Ariz., according the Camera.
Chrisco frequently interrupted the judge to ask whether the charges against him were based on common law, to assert the importance of commercial law to this case and to complain about conditions at the Boulder County Jail, where he is being held, the newspaper said.
When the judge asked if he was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, Chrisco said, "No, but I am partly under the influence of the unjust and tyrannical rule of the Boulder County Jail."
After Mulvahill granted the request, Chrisco's court-appointed attorney, Jason Savela, now discharged of his duties, said he had planned to raise the issue of Chrisco's mental competency, the newspaper reported.
Mulvahill asked Savela why he didn't bring that up before the judge ruled that Chrisco could act as his own attorney, according to the Camera. Savela said he wanted to broach the issue earlier, but he didn't know how because he has never faced the situation.
Defendants have a right to represent themselves, but judges can deny such a request if they do not feel the person is mentally competent to make that choice.
Chrisco asked that Savela be appointed to be his advisory counsel. Mulvahill said he would appoint an attorney to serve as advisory counsel, but it may or may not be Savela, the Camera reported.
Chrisco is accused of peeping at women by climbing into a waste tank under a portable toilet at a Boulder yoga festival in June.
He was later charged with drilling holes in the restroom walls at several Boulder businesses and government offices so he could spy on women.
According to an arrest warrant, Chrisco admitted to investigators that he sat in women's bathroom stalls. He said he would peep and sometimes masturbate when a woman was in a neighboring stall.
The arrest warrant said that Chrisco admitted to drilling holes into a women's restroom wall to peep at multiple locations, including:
- Department of Motor Vehicles -- 2850 Iris Ave.
- The Naropa Institute -- 2130 Arapahoe Ave.
- Target -- 2800 Pearl St.
- Boulder Cafe -- 1247 Pearl St.
According to the warrant, the locations where Chrisco said he peeped on women from inside a neighboring stall include:
- Absinthe -- 1109 Pearl St.
- The Rio -- 1101 Walnut St.
- Macy's -- 1900 28th St.
- Cheesecake Factory -- 1401 Pearl St.
- Mamacita's -- 1149 13th St.
- International Youth Hostel -- 1107 12th St.
Chrisco is charged with nine felonies: seven counts of second-degree burglary, one count of attempted burglary and one count of criminal trespass, Olguin said. He's also charged with misdemeanor attempted sexual contact in the portable toilet peeping tom case.
Chrisco was charged with burglary in the restroom incidents because he's accused of entering the businesses with the intent to commit a crime -- unlawful sexual contact, authorities said.
He's scheduled for arraignment on Dec 15.
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