Sex offender’s ‘immunity’ appeal rejected

The Colorado Court of Appeals rejected an appeal last week from an imprisoned Grand Junction sex offender who claimed his confinement was illegal because of “diplomatic immunity” and sovereignty from the United States — an argument he apparently made in writing to President Barack Obama.

Tye J. Smith, 40, who is being held at the Buena Vista Correctional Complex, is serving 10 years to life after his 2001 guilty plea to sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and a pattern of abuse.

In what the Court of Appeals described as Smith’s “most recent” motion to reverse his conviction, Smith repeated to the appellate court a previously raised claim that’s he’s “chief ambassador of a new sovereign entity,” according to a newly issued ruling.

As such, Smith argued he had to be released from prison on grounds of “diplomatic immunity.”

Smith’s argument was first raised to a Mesa County judge in January 2012, when he also informed the judge he’d written letters to the president about his self-styled sovereignty.

Smith never received a response from the White House.

“The trial court did not specifically address defendant’s argument, which he also raises on appeal, that all of the contentions raised in his correspondence to the President of the United States must be deemed admitted as true because the President did not respond,” the court’s opinion said.

“The argument has no legal support and we summarily reject it,” the Court of Appeals wrote.

Smith was arrested in October 2000 on a warrant obtained by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department after allegations were reported that he repeatedly molested an 8-year-old girl in multiple jurisdictions, including Grand Junction.

Smith has filed four post-conviction relief motions, the ruling notes. His next parole hearing is scheduled for June 2015, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections’ website.


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