COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) — A former El Paso County Sheriff’s deputy who created a pornographic image involving a young boy took a plea deal that allowed him to avoid prison time.
Prosecutors say Donald Fair, 45, offered to share the image on a child porn message board on the Dark Web.
In Aug. 2017, the Colorado Springs Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children unit was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security to investigate a referral from Interpol of possible child exploitation.
Prosecutors say an IP address that was traced to Fair had been used on a hidden services website to seek out others interested in his child pornography.
“If this interests you, email me back …. and we can talk,” Fair posted with an image.
Fair pleaded guilty to one count of sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, a Class 4 felony. Under Colorado law, there is no mandated prison time for that charge. Instead, Fair was sentenced to sex offender intensive supervised probation for 10 years to life. Fair must register as a sex offender.
“This outcome is the best we could hope for in this case under current Colorado law,” District Attorney George Brauchler said. “A young innocent child is not further traumatized by testifying and being cross-examined during a trial, and the perpetrator is monitored and given therapy to keep the community safe… For this case, for this moment, for these facts, this is justice.”
Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Gallo told the court the plea agreement was an appropriate outcome.
“This defendant will stand convicted of sexually assaulting a child,” Gallo said. “If this case went to trial, I would have had to make a very young child testify. The damage that would have inflicted would have been severe to that child. Now that child won’t have to testify, and we’ve taken our best measure that this offender will be in a safe and supervised situation for this community, indefinitely.”
When imposing the sentence, El Paso County District Judge David Gilbert stated, “There is nothing more depraved, nothing more upsetting to the community. This is one of the lowest most shameful things that I can imagine.”
Fair was also an investigator with the 4th Judicial District Attorneys’ Office but his employment ended when he was arrested.