Criminal allegations against Loveland Police Detective Brian Koopman cannot be used during his testimony in a separate case, a district court judge ruled Monday morning.
Stanley Romanek, a 52-year-old Loveland man charged with distribution and possession of child pornography, appeared in court on bond Monday morning as his defense attorneys argued for access to evidence regarding a criminal charge Koopman is facing.
Elizabeth McClintock, one of Romanek’s attorneys, said the defense team is looking for impeachment and other information that goes toward Koopman’s credibility.
Koopman led the search and investigation of the Romanek’s home after a Homeland Security agent downloaded incriminating files being shared from the Romanek’s home IP address on Ash Avenue.
Lawyers were seeking the information to target testimony against Koopman in front of a jury.
“It is our understanding that in two separate instances Detective Koopman has been accused of violating the constitutional rights of two separate criminal defendants,” McClintock said. “We believe that information is relative to those matters contained in (Koopman’s) criminal investigation file. That is why we are seeking it, we believe it is relevant in this case because the primary issue that will be raised in trial in Mr. Romanek’s case will be if his constitutional rights were violated and were violated specifically by Detective Koopman.”
“In terms of relevance to this case, it concerns me that the primary rationale I’ve heard from the defense council today is to determine whether their client’s constitutional rights have been violated,” Joshua Ritter, district attorney, said. “… That’s not what this trial is going to be all about; if it’s not a decision for the jury to make it wouldn’t be relevant to present to a jury.”
He said the question to the jury, in this case, is whether Romanek possessed and distributed pornographic material of children.
Judge Daniel Kaup said the criminal case against Koopman has yet to be adjudicated.
“I think the court would be overstepping its legal authority … to draw that conclusion,” Kaup said. “… I don’t dispute that there’s information out there. The question is that is it factually relevant in this case, so that the court should allow you to further explore that information in the personnel file.”
He denied the defense’s request for access to information in the criminal case against the detective.
Koopman then took the stand to address concerns around an issue of Miranda rights in regards to law enforcement officials searching Romanek’s home in April of 2013.
However, Kaup ruled, Romanek was not taken into custody at that point and was therefore not subject to Miranda rights.
In a testimony from March, Koopman said incriminating files were being shared publicly to the world using a peer-to-peer file sharing program called Limewire, and that an officer on the case said one of the computer’s hardware had been wiped clean with a downloadable program.
It was also discussed in court on Monday that a Homeland Security agent secured evidence of incriminating files being shared from Romanek’s IP address in 2008 and 2009.
Defense said this testimony will illustrate to the jury this unusual file sharing was not an accident, as it has happened multiple times.
That agent’s testimony during trial will depend on whether attorneys on both sides are able to contact him in a timely matter.
Romanek, a known UFO expert, alleges a space organization was harassing him and putting “disgusting things” on his computer because of the work he was doing.
Romanek will appear for another motions hearing before his jury trial at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 16.