Afemale correctional officer who works at the Department of Corrections has been charged with multiple charges of Unlawful Sexual Contact. This is a highly unusually case, as female guards don't usually grope inmates in Denver, Jefferson, and Arapahoe County jails and prisons. Usually, these kinds of charges are the result of male guards inappropriately touching female inmates. Let's take a look this unusual case, and learn what kind of charges this woman will be facing.
Female Guard Gropes Male Inmates
Image Credit: Pixabay – GLady
According to the news, the female correctional officer worked at the Department of Corrections in Sterling, Colorado. Inmates began reporting unusual behavior – apparently, the woman was groping them during pat-downs. It took months for the complaints to reach authorities, because no one took the allegations seriously. And, when the complaints were taken seriously, it was discovered that the woman's behavior was a secret in the prison yard – “the whole yard basically knew about it.” As the result of an investigation, the female guard is now facing five counts of misdemeanor Unlawful Sexual Contact, and ten counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact in a Correctional Institution. Let's take a look at the difference between these two charges in Adams, El Paso, and Douglas County.
Facing Unlawful Sexual Contact charges?Get Help Now!
What is Unlawful Sexual Contact?
According to the Unlawful Sexual Contact statute – C.R.S. 18-3-404, any person who “knowingly subjects a victim to any sexual contact commits unlawful sexual contact if:”
- The person knows the victim doesn't consent.
- The person knows the victim is incapable of understanding the conduct.
- The victim is physically helpless and the person knows this.
- The person has substantially impaired the victim's judgment though alcohol or drugs.
- The victim is in custody or is an inmate in a correctional facility and is under the control of the other person.
- The person engages in illegitimate medical analysis while performing an examination.
- The person coerces a child to have sexual contact with another person for their own sexual gratification.
As you can see, there are many different instances where Unlawful Sexual Contact is charged. The severity of the sentence depends on the circumstances.
Misdemeanor Unlawful Sexual Contact
In most cases, Unlawful Sexual Contact is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor extraordinary risk crime. This means a person convicted of this offense could face the possibility of spending up to two years in the Denver County Jail.
Felony Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges
In certain circumstances, Unlawful Sexual Contact is charged as a felony. This occurs in the following situations:
- If the victim was compelled to have sexual contact as a result of force, intimidation, or threats.
- If the sexual contact occurred during a “medical examination.”
- If the situation included coercing a child to have sexual contact with another person.
The Charges against the Female Guard Explained
Because the female DOC guard is facing both misdemeanor and felony Unlawful Sexual Contact charges, we can assume that at least ten of the encounters occurred during a supposed “medical examination,” or as a result of threats, intimidation, or force.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges
As you can see, the Unlawful Sexual Contact statute is complex. All it takes to face a felony charge versus a misdemeanor charge is the interpretation of the circumstances in your case by a District Attorney. They twist words, meanings, and circumstances to get the harshest conviction possible. This is why you need the expertise of a skilled criminal defense lawyer to aggressively fight on your behalf to ensure your rights are honored. A conviction of Unlawful Sexual Contact will result in your designation as a sex offender. You will be required to complete sex offender registration, and you will also have to undergo sex offender treatment overseen by the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB).
Get Help Now
If you or a loved one has been charged with Unlawful Sexual Contact, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. We can also visit your family member in the Denver or Arapahoe County Jail. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation