Luke Chrisco, right, talks with his then-attorney Jason Savela at his arraignment. (Paul Aiken / The Camera )
It’s a drama playing out in a Colorado courtroom that’s almost too difficult to watch: An alleged Peeping Tom is battling both the court and his own lawyers as the community breathes a sigh of relief that he’s off the streets.
Luke Chrisco is accused of hiding in a portable toilet at a Boulder yoga festival last year and spying on women through peepholes he created at several stores and other locations around the Rocky Mountain resort town.
Since his arrest in 2011, the defendant has been represented by four different attorneys who have advised him against a plan to represent himself. The community is torn between wanting to protect this man against himself and wanting to protect themselves against the likes of such alleged invasions of privacy.
It’s a case few people in Boulder want to discuss. The store owners don’t want the publicity and the police are reluctant to speak publicly about any case still at trial.
Mitchell Byars, a reporter at the Boulder Daily Camera who has covered the case, told the Los Angeles Times that Chrisco’s alleged crimes have received national attention for their depravity.
“For people who don’t live in Boulder, the reaction has been one of amusement,” he told The Times. “But if you live here and might have gone to one of those buildings where he cut holes in the walls to spy on people, it’s not so funny.”
This week, Chrisco’s attorney asked a judge to amend the not guilty plea his client entered in August to a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Matt Connell, who is the fourth attorney to represent Chrisco since he was arrested and charged in 2011 with eight counts of felony burglary and two misdemeanors, told the Daily Camera that Chrisco initially objected to the plea but has changed his mind.
Connell told the court Chrisco was not in the right state of mind during any of the alleged incidents or when he entered the not guilty plea.
Chrisco is scheduled for trial March 11. He remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $250,000 bond.
Chrisco was arrested in summer 2011, a few days after a woman using a portable toilet at a Boulder yoga festival noticed something moving in the tank and then saw a feces-stained man emerge from the toilet and run away, the Camera reported.
According to police and court records, Chrisco -- who was arrested by Vail police in an unrelated incident -- told Boulder and University of Colorado police that he hid in crawl spaces and bathrooms around Boulder, including at CU, Naropa University, the Department of Motor Vehicles office and a number of businesses, in order to watch women use the toilet.
Byars told The Times that he interviewed Chrisco last year about his motives.
“He just went through his thinking,” he said. “He worships women. He calls it a goddess religion. And this was his way of practicing that religion.”
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