Joseph Renander found guilty of child-sex assaults after previous verdicts tossed
Joseph Renander. More photos below.
Why is Joseph Renander only now facing sentencing for a series of child sex assaults allegedly committed between 2000 and 2005 -- especially when he was convicted for the crimes more than six years ago?
Turns out the case was tossed over a technicality and sent back to trial, where a new jury came to the same conclusion the previous one had.
Some of the best coverage of the Renander matter the first time around was done by the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. In a December 2004 piece, the Rocky reported that Renander had been arrested the previous March at the Golden Beginnings Early Learning Center in Lakewood, which he operated along with a facility in Golden called Precious Ones Daycare.
He faced multiple counts of sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, as well as pattern-of-conduct allegations in regard to a number of victims, all of whom were under age ten. On top of that, Renander was accused of possessing photos and videos featuring sexual images of children.
The investigation into Renander got underway in late 2003, after an eight-year-old girl told her dad "she had to be careful when taking a bubble bath because bubbles made her private areas itch" -- a comment that led to her divulging that she'd been raped and forced to participate in oral sex when she was just four, the Rocky noted
One other victim said Renander had touched her "down there" as she sat on a toilet and compulsively fondled her through her clothes, while another talked about Renander taking her to a shed behind one of the centers, where she was made to do "bad things."
By March 2006, Renander was on trial, with the Rocky quoting testimony he offered in his own defense. He conceded that he downloaded child porn "every other week," but he insisted that "he studied pedophiles and child pornography" because he was "writing a manual to help parents prevent sexual abuse of their children, planning to use the manuals at workshops for parents."
Among the titles of books self-published by Renander: All About Touches and I Just Said No.
This rationale didn't convince the jury, which convicted Renander of the sex crimes. The following November, he was given a sentence of between 78 years and life.
In addition, the First Judicial District DA's office states, Renander was also convicted of child-porn possession. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to two sexual-exploitation-of-a-child counts, for which he was given sixteen years in stir.
However, the main sex assault beefs subsequently fell by the wayside.
In August of last year, the DA's office reveals, the Court of Appeals returned Renander's case to Jefferson County for a new trial because "the original trial court had failed to give a required jury instruction before they jury began deliberations."
In the do-over, Renander made similar assertions about the books he was writing and sketched out how a supposedly fictional character explained how pedophiles built relationships with kids and their parents, allowing him to escalate his behavior from relatively subtle groping to sex assault and sodomy.
The DA's office quotes a passage from one book that reads, "Most pedophiles love children" and a 2005 journal entry that states, "I would change if I could, I do not know how."
Also weighing in: all six of Renander's reported victims, now teenagers.
The case went to jury number two earlier this month, and before long, the decision was in: guilty on nine sex-assault-of-a-child-by-one in a position-of-trust counts, three related pattern-of-conduct offenses and five involving enticement of a child.
Renander is slated for sentencing June 13. Only time will tell if the conviction will stick this time.
Here's a look at another Renander booking photo.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa April 16: "Henry Ford arrest update: Charges against deputy include incest."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Reader: Christ, How Many People Need to Grow Weed in Colorado?
Sun., Sep. 6, 2:00pm
Fri., Sep. 11, 7:00pm
Sat., Sep. 12, 1:00pm
Sat., Sep. 12, 1:30pm
- Heat Up, Cool Off: Our Ten Favorite Colorado Hot Springs
- Ask a Mexican: Readers Respond to Dickhead in Denver