While many are aware that the age of consent is 17 in Colorado, there is one massively impactful exception. As one in a position of trust, any sexual contact between an adult and a minor under 18 is a serious sex crime, regardless of consent. A few days on the calendar can be the difference between a felony sex offense with an indeterminate sentence and an act that isn't even a crime. Colorado's pastors, coaches, teachers, school employees, and even some guardians are often destroyed by this law. Even a false accusation can derail your career, break apart your family, and paint you as a child predator for life. Consult a determined sex crimes attorney today if you or someone you know is facing an allegation of sexual assault by a position of trust.
What is Sexual Assault by One in a Position of Trust in Colorado?
Sexual assault by a position of trust laws prohibit sexual contact (touching intimate parts) between anyone under 18 and specific adults in their lives. You're a position of trust in Colorado when you're responsible for a juvenile's:
- or supervision,
- in any way and for any period of time
Unlike Romeo and Juliet laws, a position of trust role makes all sexual acts with minors under the age of 18 unlawful, regardless of difference in age.
Alleged victims in these cases are often encouraged to claim some type of fictitious dominion (labeled as ‘grooming' by prosecutors and law enforcement) that someone in a position of trust has over them, when in reality the juvenile often simply regrets getting involved or is embarrassed they got caught. In many cases, minors initiate the contact and consent to everything that occurs, but are suddenly ‘victims' when others learn of the situation. This seems to contradict what we attempt to instill in teenagers about being responsible for their actions.
Position of Trust Penalties in Colorado
Sexual assault by a position of trust is a class 4 felony if the acts occurred one time and the victim was 15, 16, or 17 years of age. However, a class 3 felony applies if the sexual contact was part of an ongoing relationship or the victim was 14 or younger. Defendants face 2 – 12 years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, sex offender registration, intensive supervised probation, and also costly evaluation / treatment if convicted.
Colorado Position of Trust Sex Assault Attorney
Strategic, experienced representation is of the utmost importance in child sex assault cases. Securing a determined defense attorney early on can significantly alter the trajectory of a case. It also often leads to a better outcome for defendants. Perhaps the touching was an accident, it wasn't for sexual gratification, or a teenager is trying to ruin your career with false accusations. That said, contact our office today for a free consultation. We will carefully look through your unique case, as well as suggest next steps in your defense.
So, if you or someone you know is facing a charge of sexual assault by a position of trust, be smart. Contact the skilled sex crimes attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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