Charges dismissed in Colorado lawmaker threat case

DENVER — A Denver District Court judge on Friday dismissed charges against a Colorado Springs man accused of sending state Rep. Rhonda Fields sexually and racially offensive emails after Fields told prosecutors a permanent injunction against Franklin Sain would be enough protection.

According to the Denver Post ( ), Chief Deputy District Attorney Henry Cooper said Fields obtained a permanent protection order against Sain and felt her safety concerns had been met.

Sain was charged in February with harassment involving ethnic intimidation and attempting to influence a public servant. He told Denver police he sent Fields six emails filled with profanity and epithets and left similar voicemails between Feb. 13 and 15, during her efforts to tighten state gun laws.

Cooper said a provision of the protection order issued Tuesday requires Sain to undergo mental health treatment.

“Her concerns about her safety have been met by that process,” he said.

Sain’s attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, had maintained that his client’s emails were protected free speech and said only that “the result speaks for itself and we are satisfied with the result.”

Fields did not return phone calls or respond to an email seeking comment and Rathod could not be reached by phone.

Rathod told a judge in March that Sain acknowledged calling and sending emails laced with profanities and racial slurs to Fields. Rathod said that while the messages were offensive, they were not threatening and they were constitutionally protected political speech.

Rathod also said Sain, 42, was not responsible for a letter sent to Fields that said “There Will Be Blood!” and listed Fields and her daughter.

Fields is a Democrat who represents Aurora, where a gunman killed 12 people in a movie theater last summer. She is black. Sain, a technology executive who was suspended after his arrest, is white.

Police said that in one message, Sain told Fields he hoped someone would “Gifords” her, an apparent reference to the 2011 shooting and wounding of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. A police affidavit said Sain apologized for his comments.

If found guilty, Sain could have faced up to six years in prison.

Sain was the chief operating officer at SofTec Solutions Inc., an Englewood information technology company that does work for the government and health care companies. The company said he was suspended then fired.


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