Child sex assault charges dropped against southern Colorado Jehovah’s Witness church member

Colorado Springs, Colorado -- Charges have been dropped against a Florissant man accused of sexually assaulting eight children tied to a Jehovah’s Witnesses church, where the suspect was reportedly a respected elder.

Shawn Swisher was in Teller County court Monday. He was previously accused of inappropriately touching at least eight children tied to Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Woodland Park. He was arrested in December 2022 on the allegations.

According to court papers, the charges were dropped in January because of “insufficient evidence” in the case, in which allegations date back to the 1980s. Despite this, the investigation into the child sex assault claims remains active according to the Teller County Sheriff’s Office.

Swisher was in court with his defense attorney asking that dozens of phones, laptops, and other electronics be returned to him that were seized in the investigation.

Prosecutors say they are continuing to hold those items because they could have photos or videos of the alleged assaults. The judge said investigators have 60 days to comb through the devices before needing to return them, unless new charges were to be filed in that time.

Swisher ignored questions from reporters when leaving court Monday. His attorney did all the talking in court and declined to comment to 11 News when asked.

Prosecutors declined to comment, too, so it’s unclear whether or not they plan to re-file the charges against Swisher.

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