Registered sex offender and former cop Joseph Ellsworth arrested on internet luring charge

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - A registered sex offender arrested for driving from Colorado Springs to Littleton to have sex with someone he thought was a teenaged girl is also an ex-cop, sources tell the CALL7 Investigators.

Joseph Albert Ellsworth, 58, is charged with internet luring of a child and attempted sexual assault of a child, both felonies. The affidavit says Ellsworth is a former officer with the Denver Police Department.

CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta's sources tell her that Ellsworth was fired from DPD over lying about a DUI.

State court records show that Ellsworth was convicted for a 1995 DUI case in Arapahoe County and sentenced to probation. His criminal history also includes a 1996 conviction on perjury.

Sources also said Ellsworth was accused of going to Tulsa to meet an underage girl in 1999.  

In the current case, investigators said Ellsworth sent an unsolicited text message to a technician with the First Judicial District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said the technician was online, in a social networking site, portraying herself as a child under 15.

According to the affidavit, the first message Ellsworth sent on August 7, said, "Into rich doctors?"

As the conversation continued, the affidavit said Ellsworth asked if the teenage persona was a "virgin."

"Ellsworth asked the teen persona about her living situation and inquired about her parents and siblings. Ellsworth asked, 'u wanna meet?' and 'I want us to have sex,'" the document states.

The conversation later escalated to a phone call where Ellsworth spoke to an investigator. The affidavit states he expressed concern about getting in trouble during that call.

"Ellsworth said for all he knew this could be recorded and she would have to say she was 15. (The investigator) said ok I'm 15. Ellsworth said he could get in trouble if she said she was under the age of 15," the affidavit states.

The team later traced the phone number back to Ellsworth, and determined he was a convicted sex offender in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In that case he convicted of a federal charge for traveling between states to have sex with a minor. He was currently registered as living on N. Nevada Ave. in Colorado Springs.

Ellsworth confirmed in subsequent messages that he would bring "protection" and also allegedly said, "I want u to have fun so we can do this a lot."

When Ellsworth arrived to the fast food restaurant on August 8 where investigators had set up their sting, they noted that he said aloud, "there she is," while looking at the investigator portraying a teenager.

Ellsworth was arrested and charged with two counts of internet luring of a child with the intent to exploit and attempted sexual assault on a child.

Print this article Back to Top