If you been arrested for a sex crime, you may already be experiencing the fear and stigma that accompanies an allegation of rape, molestation, indecent exposure, or any other sexual offense. Many people rush to judgment in these cases, and assume without knowing any facts that an accusation is the equivalent of a guilty verdict. When you add the possibility of prison and registration as a sex offender, the fear can be overwhelming.
At Castañeda Law, you will be treated with respect. Our experienced Denver sex crime attorneys are aware of the pressures you are under, and they will work diligently to protect your rights. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Sexual Offenses in Colorado
Being accused of any sex crime is a serious matter. These offenses range from misdemeanors to the most serious felonies, although most are classified as felonies. The law in this area is often difficult to understand, and the statutes are often confusing. The following list includes some of the many sex crimes that appear in the Colorado Revised Statutes:
- Sexual Assault (CRS 18-3-402). This includes not only rape, but also a number of other charges, in addition to sexual penetration by force. Among them are (a) statutory rape; (b) “sexual intrusion”; and (c) sexual intrusion or penetration on a victim who is in custody or who is helpless. Sexual assault is either a class 2 felony or a class 3 felony, depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.
- Unlawful Sexual Contact (CRS 18-3-404). “Sexual contact” means touching the intimate parts of another person, or having that person touch your intimate parts. It also includes touching the clothing covering a person’s intimate parts, if it is done for sexual purposes. This is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless threats or force is used, in which case it is a class 4 felony.
- Sexual Assault on a Child (CRS 18-405). Sexual contact with a child under the age of fifteen is a class 4 felony. If force or threats of retaliation are involved, or in the case of a pattern of sexual abuse, it is a class 3 felony.
- Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust (CRS 18-405.3). Sexual contact with a child under the age of eighteen by a person of trust is a class 4 felony. If the child is under the age of fifteen, it is a class 3 felony. A “person of trust” is broadly defined to include parents, those acting in the place of parents (“in loco parentis”), or anyone responsible for the child’s welfare, health or education.
- Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-3-405.4). A class 4 felony, this offense applies where the victim is known by the defendant to be under the age of fifteen, and the defendant is at least four years older than the victim. It includes internet enticement leading to viewing, exposure or touching of intimate parts
- Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification (CRS 18-3-405.6). Observing or photographing a person’s intimate parts for sexual gratification and without consent, and where the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, is generally a class 1 misdemeanor. Depending upon the defendant’s prior criminal history and/or the age of the victim, it could be charged as a felony.
- Enticement of a Child (CRS 18-3-305). It is a felony to lure a child under fifteen into a building, a room, or any place that is secluded, for purposes of sexual assault or sexual contact.
- Internet Luring of a Child (CRS 18-3-306). As the name suggests, this crime consists of using the internet to persuade a child under fifteen to meet, where the communication has included sexually explicit conduct. It is a felony.
- Public Indecency (CRS 18-7-301). Performing sexual intercourse, or “lewd” exposure and/or fondling, in a public place (or anywhere one would expect it to be viewed by the public), constitutes public indecency. It is a class 1 petty offense. A second conviction under some circumstances may be a class 1 misdemeanor.
- Indecent Exposure (CRS 18-7-302). If you knowingly expose your genitals to anyone under circumstances in which it would be likely to affront or alarm that person, and you intend to gratify or arouse any person’s sexual desires, you can be charged with indecent exposure. A first conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor.
There are additional offenses that fall within the general scope of sex crimes, among them child prostitution, and providing sexually explicit material to a child.
Sentencing for Sex Crimes
Colorado law contains a number of special provisions applicable to sentencing for sex offenses. For each felony and misdemeanor class, the law provides a presumptive sentencing range. In some cases, however, the court has the discretion to impose a sentence outside the presumptive range. In the case of sex crimes, those variations include the following:
- Sexual offenses that involved the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, or which caused serious bodily injury or death, will lead to a sentence at least at the midpoint of the presumptive range.
- Those convicted of class 2 felony sexual assault subsequent to November 1, 1998 must be sentenced to an indeterminate term not less than the presumptive midpoint.
- Some sex crimes are classified as “extraordinary risk” crimes, meaning that the presumptive sentencing range is increased.
- Under the Lifetime Supervision of Sex Offenders Act of 1998, most sex offenders will be required to undergo treatment and to be subject to supervision for the rest of their lives.
- Most convicted sex offenders must comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act. This means that your name will be available on the internet as a registered sex offender. The act also contains notification requirements with law enforcement.
This is just a brief list of some of the sex offenses in Colorado. There are defenses that can be raised in many cases. Some are based upon lack of intent or knowledge, others involve the relative ages of the alleged victim and the defendant, and still others are based upon search and seizure and other laws. Many of these defenses, including entrapment, also apply in cases of police “stings”, where law enforcement in effect manufactures a situation in order to attempt to draw in prospective offenders.
Defending Sex Crime Charges in Denver, CO
The stakes are high. These are not charges that can be ignored or minimized. You want the best legal advice you can get, from an attorney who will be honest about where you stand. You also want your lawyer to take whatever steps may be needed in order to protect your rights and your future.
If you are facing a sex charge, get the help you need and contact the experienced sex crimes attorneys at Castañeda Law.
Call (303) 386-7135 for a consultation