Christian & Theresa Laswell: Was Christian a pimp of child prostitutes or an escort driver?
There are two versions of Christian Laswell's story, his lawyer said in court this morning. In one version, the 29-year-old seen here is a pimp of several women, including a seventeen-year-old girl and his sister, nineteen-year-old Theresa Laswell. In another version offered by his lawyer, he's a college student who conquered his meth addiction and was driving for a legitimate escort service when he was arrested.
Both Laswells were in court this morning dressed in gray prison garb -- Theresa to be notified of her charges and Christian for a preliminary hearing. But Christian's lawyer asked that the preliminary hearing be rescheduled; the judge agreed and set it for May 26.
Christian is being held on a $100,000 bond for charges including pimping of a child, soliciting child prostitution and trafficking in children, among others. A police affidavit states that Christian was acting as the chief pimp of a prostitution ring in which Theresa was the "bottom bitch," or the highest prostitute in a hierarchy that included the seventeen-year-old. The girl said she'd worked for the Laswells for three weeks and had turned at least thirty tricks, half of which involved "acts of prostitution."
This morning, Christian's lawyer said that's not true and called the case "complicated." She said that at the time of his arrest, Christian was a full-time student studying psychology at Front Range Community College. She said he was serving as a driver for a legitimate escort service in addition to working as a drug and alcohol counselor at the Stout Street Foundation, where he went himself for rehab to kick a meth addiction.
"He's conquered that," she said.
In arguing for a lower bond, Christian's lawyer emphasized that he would have no reason to flee because he has significant ties to the area -- including loads of student loans.
But prosecutors pointed out that Christian also has a criminal history, including a felony theft charge, which his lawyer said was related to his past drug use. Plus, the prosecutor said, the seventeen-year-old girl in the case has said "she is afraid of Mr. Laswell" and would fear retaliation if he got out of jail.
The judge kept the bond at $100,000.
Theresa is due back in court on May 12, at which time her bond will be set.
More from our Colorado Crimes archives: "Noel Bertrand, alleged DIA rapist: "Don't you know difference between rough sex & fighting?""
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Denver, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.