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Parole board sends sexually violent predator Christopher Lawyer back to prison

Parolee & mom subject of Denver7 investigation
Posted at 12:51 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 20:57:05-04

BOULDER – A sexually violent predator is headed back to prison after violating the terms of his parole, the parole board in Colorado decided Monday morning. Boulder County District Attorney spokeswoman Catherine Olguin confirmed the revocation.

Christopher Lawyer was the subject of a Denver7 investigation last year after allegations that his well-connected mother tried to influence his case after he violated parole rules in previous incidents.

The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office had requested he be sent back to prison after new alleged parole violations surfaced from California this year.

Lawyer had been held in the Washington County Jail since he was brought back to Colorado in July. He had been living in California, utilizing an agreement between the two states because the Boulder community had protested him living near them in Colorado.

Lawyer was arrested in California following the disappearance of a woman, though he was cleared in her disappearance. In the course of the investigation about the missing woman, investigators discovered Lawyer was texting with the woman in a manner that appeared to violate his parole rules.

Lawyer allegedly asked for nude photographs, missed curfew and viewed pornography in California. The information was obtained by the Sacramento Bee newspaper after a woman Lawyer had been texting disappeared.

Prior to his parole hearing Monday, The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office wrote a letter strongly encouraging the parole board to revoke Lawyer’s parole.

“Given the heinous and violent nature of the underlying offenses, the number of victims and use of weapons… our Office strongly opposes the re-release of Mr. Lawyer back into our community,” the district attorney wrote in a letter dated July 19.

Lawyer's crime history

Christopher Lawyer’s crime spree in the spring of 2000 launched a manhunt and captured headlines.

Investigators in Boulder said Lawyer broke into a college student’s home, and in a separate incident, waved a gun at three other women while impersonating a police officer. Investigators believed he intended to sexually assault those women. He then kidnapped a woman who was delivering newspapers and sexually assaulted her, police said at the time.

 “There was a particularly violent and extensive sexual assault of the fifth woman,” Boulder County’s First Assistant District Attorney Katharina Booth told Denver7 Investigates last year. “He was Boulder County's first sex offender that was ever designated… [as a] ‘sexually violent predator.’”

Published reports from 2000 indicate Lawyer was previously sentenced to probation for groping a teenager at a water park and had a prior arrest for indecent exposure.

Lawyer served about 16 years in prison for the Boulder rape before the parole board agreed in August of 2017 to release him on parole. He left prison in September of 2017.

“Lawyer was initially placed with his mother…” the Boulder County District Attorney’s letter said. “Within days of his initial release, Lawyer’s parole officer searched his room and Lawyer was found in possession of sexually explicit material that was violent in nature, to include rape content.”

Later Lawyer was found blowing kisses as a neighbor and her 13-year-old daughter drove by, the district attorney’s letter said. Lawyer’s GPS monitoring device showed him violating his parole, also.

He was sentenced to 180 days in prison and then released.

Lawyer transferred his parole to California in October of last year before being caught allegedly violating it which resulted in him coming back to Colorado to face the parole board Monday.

Mom's help

The Contact7 investigation last year centered around phone calls recorded between his mother and Lawyer, when he was incarcerated at the Boulder County jail.

They created concern at the time among law enforcement that she was trying to help her son’s situation by reaching out to people in power not normally available to the public.

Recorded jail phone calls indicate his mom, Dianna Lawyer-Brook, jumped into action when her son was arrested, tapping into a network of contacts in the world of parole she made through her professional work as an advocate for sex offender treatment and rehabilitation.

Lawyer-Brook worked with Colorado Circles of Support and Accountability, which on its website at the time said its mission is to “equip and support community organizations in establishing Circles of volunteers who support the healthy transition and reentry of people who have committed sex offenses and are now eligible for community living.”

In 2015, Gov. Hickenlooper appointed Lawyer-Brook to the Governor’s Community Corrections Advisory Council as a “victims/prisoners’ advocate.” Other members of that advisory council included the commissioner of the Department of Corrections and the chairman of the parole board.

In the first recorded call, Lawyer-Brook tells her son about conversations she had trying to figure out the reasons for her son’s arrest and when he would have a hearing, first speaking with staff in the parole office who she said told her the parole board ordered that he be arrested “if he did anything at all.”

Dianna Lawyer-Brook: So I called the parole board which I guess you normally can't do but I have their cell phones, right?

Christopher Lawyer: Right, right.

Lawyer-Brook: So I called the parole board and they said that's bulls---, that they didn't have any directive like that. And they can't give directives like that.

Lawyer-Brook then told her son she began calling parole administrators trying to get answers.

“When I told you before that I wasn't going to call the big guns until there was a reason, this is the reason,” Lawyer-Brook said.

She told her son that through her advocacy work she saw many parolees fail numerous drug tests without being arrested, yet he had apparently been arrested simply for showing up too late for a drug test.

In a later phone call, Lawyer-Brook rattled off the names of high-ranking parole officials she called in an attempt to get answers.

Lawyer-Brook: This may be a really long fight. I thought just calling Alison would take care of it, and I haven't talked to Alison. I mean I've still got plenty of stuff that I can do.

Lawyer: Right.

Dianna: I mean, I have lots of stuff I can do. But the easy way isn't happening. So, I don't know.

Chris: Right.

Dianna: Well I'm upset because, um, you know, I tried a couple phone calls, and you know, I wasn't getting any progress with anything.

Later in that call, Lawyer-Brook said, “I haven't heard back from Susan, so the easy way is not happening. And that was kind of a long shot.”

The district attorney’s office began monitoring the jailhouse phone calls and relayed Lawyer-Brook’s comments to her son’s parole officer in an email.

In the phone calls, Lawyer-Brook never directly says that she intended to ask anyone to get her son out of jail or to get him any special treatment. She told Denver7 last year that was never her intention.

Listen to portions of the calls by clicking here.