Crime

Steve Pierce, sex offender found in Washington, wasn't punished for refusing treatment

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During the wee hours of May 29, as we've reported, members of the Thornton Police Department were called to the North Suburban Medical Center due to the presence of a nine-year-old girl who showed signs she'd been sexually assaulted -- and so was so seriously injured that she was immediately transported to Children's Hospital for more intensive treatment.

Her sufferings become even more painful to consider in the context of the time she told investigators Pierce had sexually assaulted her -- on the evening of May 26, more than two full days earlier.

Later on the 29th, an alert went out for Pierce. He remained at large for nearly a week, but at about 10 a.m. yesterday, June 5, he was nabbed in Everett, Washington, by members of that city's police force. Shortly thereafter, TPD detectives headed to Everett's Snohomish County Jail to take custody of him and bring him back home to be tried for the crimes of which he's been accused, including sexual assault on a child and sex assault on a child by someone in a position of trust.

Meanwhile, CBS4 reports that Pierce probably shouldn't have been on the streets to harm his family member in the first place.

The station learned that Pierce was freed from a Colorado prison on May 4, 2012, but only after the parole board that heard his assorted pleas mandated that he attended sex-offender therapy and counseling sessions.

However, Pierce's parole records show that after going to a couple of sessions, he not only refused to sit through any more of them, but was actually "hostile" at the suggestion.

Such behavior could have resulted in his parole being revoked. Instead, no consequences befell Pierce, leaving him out and able to do terrible things to a pre-teen girl.

To his credit, Steve Hager, interim director of Colorado's Division of Adult Parole, appeared before a CBS4 camera to admit that this wasn't the branch's finest hour and promising to do better.

Maybe that's because a number of high-profile gaffes involving parole have taken place of late, including the mistaken early release of Evan Ebel, who's thought to have murdered pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon and Colorado prison boss Tom Clements earlier this year.

Look below to see the CBS4 report.

Continue for our previous coverage of Steve Pierce, including photos and a video.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts