Court Opinions: Colorado Court of Appeals Opinions for April 4

Editor’s Note: Law Week Colorado edits court opinion summaries for style and, when necessary, length.

People v. Vega Dominguez 

Javier Vega Dominguez appealed his convictions of soliciting for child prostitution, sexual exploitation of a child, attempted patronizing a prostituted child and attempted inducement of child prostitution. Vega Dominguez argued the crime of attempted patronizing a prostituted child prohibited the same conduct as attempted inducement of child prostitution, but the former offense carries a harsher sentence. 

He argued his conviction for attempted patronizing a prostituted child violated his right to equal protection of the laws. The Colorado Court of Appeals agreed under the facts of the case and on its analysis of the 2020 Colorado Court of Appeals case People v. Maloy, the conviction for attempted patronizing a prostituted child couldn’t stand. 

The appeals court vacated that conviction and remanded for amendment of the mittimus but affirmed the judgment of conviction in all other respects. 

People v. Reynolds-Wynn 

Semaj Reynolds-Wynn appealed his conviction of attempted reckless manslaughter. The prosecution’s case largely rested on the testimony of the alleged victim, Johnathon Pennock, according to the opinion. 

At the time of trial, Pennock was facing a charge and was the subject of an active arrest warrant in the same judicial district in which Reynolds-Wynn was being prosecuted. 

In the case, the trial court refused to allow defense counsel to cross-examine Pennock on his pending charge and related issues. The Colorado Court of Appeals concluded the error wasn’t harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The appeals court reversed the decision and remanded for a new trial.

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