Colorado v. SwietlickiAnnotate this Case
In 2014, a detective from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) responded to a middle school's report that twelve-year-old female student J.M. had posted a picture of herself drinking what appeared to be alcohol. Officials became worried that there was more to the posting, contacted police, and spoke to the student. DCSO was contacted by J.M.'s mother, stating that J.M. wanted to talk to them. J.M. and her mother separately participated in a series of video-recorded interviews. The interviews would reveal that the mother's then-fiancee, defendant-appellee John Swietlicki allegedly had regular sexual encounters, since the child was eight. J.M. J.M. told the detective that Swietlicki sometimes showed her pornography on his computer during these encounters. The mother corroborated various details pertinent to J.M.'s allegations. Swietlicki would ultimately be extradited back to Colorado to stand charges based on J.M.'s allegations. Police seized Swietlicki's laptop without a warrant until a search warrant issued. Once issued, police found that the laptop contained child pornography. Swietlicki moved to suppress all evidence found on the laptop, and the trial court granted the motion, finding that police lacked probable cause to seize the laptop. The State appealed the suppression motion. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court's suppression order, finding that the search was justified under the "plain view" exception to the warrant requirement.