The Craig Police Department released the name Tuesday of a 53-year-old man who is considered a sexually violent predator, a classification deemed to have a high rate of re-offending, now living in the city.
Robert Allen Barnstable was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1978 and attempted sexual assault of a child, a 12-year-old female, in 2005. He was sentenced to three years in prison, most of which he served before being released.
Police said Barnstable has significant health problems and is disabled. He is under constant supervision, as well as monitored through a Global Positioning System, at Correctional Alterna-
tive Placement Services, 445 Ranney St.
State law requires police to notify the community when a sexually violent predator is released into their jurisdiction. Tuesday's meeting took place before numerous local residents at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1295 W. Ninth St.
Barnstable was convicted in the 14th Judicial District for the 2005 crime. Parole officers tried to get him transferred to another area; however they were unable to, mandating his return to Craig.
Police Chief Vanatta said work still is being done on possibly transferring Barnstable to another area, where his medical needs may be better met.
"(Parole) is actively trying to find a place to relocate him to," the police chief said.
Vanatta said Barnstable had no other place to live, and rather than have him live homeless in the city, Vanatta requested CAPS house him.
CAPS director Cindy Talkington said Barnstable would be supervised 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Plus the community will monitor him," she said. "That's what this meeting is about."
While the Ranney Street location is within a mile radius of several schools, parks and recreation sites, Barnstable's undisclosed medical condition "greatly restricts his movement," Vanatta said. Patient privacy laws prohibit police from releasing specific information about Barnstable's medical status.
"In this particular case, I think it was far more important to have him in an environment where he would be watched," Vanatta said.
Barnstable's release is contingent upon his compliance with several restrictions. The parameters include GPS monitoring, and no drinking, possession of alcoholic beverages, driving, visiting liquor establishments, contact with the victim or children under 13.
The 2005 case against Barnstable was originally charged as sexual assault on a child, but was pleaded down to attempted sexual assault on a child in exchange for a guilty plea, Deputy District Attorney Russell Wasley said.
Vanatta, parole officers, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and offender experts also used the public meeting as an educational forum.
According to police, there are 10,865 registered sexual offenders in Colorado. There are 29 registered sexual offenders living in Craig city limits and five in Moffat County limits.
A sexually violent predator classification is given to an offender who meets certain criteria such as age, date and type of crime, relationship to the victim and results from an assessment.
But, Debbie Stjernholm, who works for the Division of Criminal Justice in the field of violent predator notification, said the violent predator term shouldn't be limited.
"Just so you're clear," she said, "all sex offenses are violent acts."
She, like speakers throughout the Tuesday meeting, advocated residents and parents to educate themselves and their children on potential dangers from offenders in the community.
"It's all about 'knowledge is power' and to help you with community safety," Stjernholm said.
Police encouraged community members seeking more information on sex offenders in the community to either contact the Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, or visit the agencies' Web sites to view registered offenders in their respective jurisdictions.
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.