A person was charged Tuesday with leaking a confidential document in the high-profile case of Letecia Stauch, accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch.
The person, who has not been identified, knew the affidavit had not been made public but nevertheless released it to an online crime website, according to a statement from the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case against Letecia Stauch.
The person is charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor that is punishable by between three months and a year in jail as well as a fine of between $250-$1,000.
The individual does not work for the court system, but had login credentials for the system and was able to access the affidavit before it was made public, Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen said during a press conference Tuesday that was streamed live by KOAA 5.
Dave Young, the 17th Judicial District Attorney, is prosecuting the case, but a spokeswoman for his office declined comment.
The affidavit detailed the allegations against Letecia Stauch in the death of her stepson, whose body was found in Florida in March after he went missing from his Colorado Springs home on January 27.
The affidavit, which multiple Colorado news organizations were petitioning the court to release, was leaked on April 2. The judge in that case had just notified attorneys that he intended to make the document public in a week’s time, and that the week-long buffer was intended to allow prosecutors to go over the document with Gannon Stauch’s family before it was released, Allen said.
“That was very troubling, not what we wanted to have happen,” he said. “We obviously wanted to talk to the family before it was leaked and show them the document and answer their questions, but they were deprived of that opportunity, and that is really the worst part of this whole thing, really that it violated the respect they should be shown as victims in this case.”
He said he does not anticipate the leak to impact the case against Letecia Stauch. The document was officially made public by a judge on April 3, the day after the leak.
The document alleged that Letecia Stauch killed Gannon, possibly in his bedroom, where investigators found blood spatter, and then likely stored his body in the back of her vehicle before driving to a remote area near the El Paso/Douglas county line to dump the body. The affidavit suggested she may have resented caring for the boy.
The case against Letecia Stauch, who is charged with first-degree murder and several related counts, is going forward and she is scheduled to be in court in early June.
Allen said he hopes the charge against the leaker will give pause to others who would consider leaking confidential information.
“I really do hope that today serves as a cautionary tale for everybody going forward,” he said.
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