COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The second trial for former Colorado Springs police officer Joshua Carrier began Tuesday, five months after a jury in his first child sex abuse trial failed to reach a verdict on 150 counts.
"Everyone trusted Joshua Carrier. Everyone. And why wouldn't they?" began El Paso Co. prosecutor Jennifer Viehman in her opening arguments.
Veihman, who replaced former prosecutor Andy Bryant on the case, outlined accusations made by 22 boys from Horace Mann Middle School who say Carrier touched their genitals inappropriately during wrestling exams and drug searches during the 2010-2011 school year.
Carrier was a CSPD school resource officer at Mann the year before, but continued to volunteer and serve as a wrestling coach when the SRO program was cut.
Carrier's defense attorney Josh Tolini told jurors that there was no sexual intent when Carrier touched students, and therefore, no crime was committed.
Tolini went on to tell jurors that the prosecution would try to distort Carrier's intentions in volunteering and spending so much time with students. He said volunteerism and working with people was a part of Carrier's upbringing.
"As a young boy, he was nicknamed 'tenderheart' for how he interacted with other children," said Tolini.
In addressing child pornography and explicit stories involving kids found on Carrier's computer, Tolini brought up something not mentioned in the first trial: that Carrier had "homosexual feelings" he was trying to battle. He said Carrier was too ashamed to tell anyone and the only way he could explore those feelings was on the internet.
"It started out going to legal gay porn sites," Tolini said.
Tolini said Carrier ended up going to a site that featured some "horrific" stories about pedophilia, among other types of sexual stories. He said the only way someone would know the content of a story is to click on it.
Carrier's defense argues that detectives combed the storage space of Carrier's computer, and found graphic images and pictures that Carrier didn't intend to click on or download.
The trial is expected to last six weeks. Carrier has been in jail since the April verdict in his first trial.