When you hear someone is facing Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust charges in Denver, Arapahoe, or Douglas County, the popular opinion is to believe that person is guilty right off the bat. Unfortunately, people don't know the law – they don't know just how easy it is to be charged with sexual offenses in the state of Colorado. Thus, they judge people and assume they are innocent until proven guilty. In today's blog post, let's take a look at this very controversial law. I'll give you a simple definition, and then we'll look at a few common examples and scenarios where it is charged.
The Lawyer's Definition of Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust
The legal jargon:“Any actor who knowingly subjects another not his or her spouse to any sexual contact commits sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust if the victim is a child less than eighteen years of age and the actor committing the offense is one in a position of trust with respect to the victim.
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The Simple Definition of Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust
The simplified version:“Any person who has sexual contact with a child under the age of 18 has committed sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust if they are in a position of trust with respect to the victim.”
Definitions of Key Position of Trust Terms
Obviously, in order to understand this statute, we're going to have to look at a few more definitions. These can be found under 18-3-401. Let's take a look at each of these terms.
‘Sexual Contact' is defined as: “…the knowing touching of the victim's intimate parts by the actor, or of the actor's intimate parts by the victim, or the knowing touching of the clothing covering the immediate are of the victim's or actor's intimate parts if that sexual contact is for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.'
‘Intimate Parts' is defined as: “…the external genitalia or the perineum or the anus or the buttocks or the pubes or the breast of any person.”
Position of Trust
‘Position of Trust' includes, “but is not limited to, any person who is a parent or acting the place of a parent and charged with any of a parent's rights, duties, or responsibilities concerning a child, including a guardian or someone otherwise responsible for the genera supervision of a child's welfare, or a person who is charged with any duty or responsibility for the health, education, welfare, or supervision of a child, including foster care, child care, family care, or institutional care, either independently or through another, no matter how brief, at the time of an unlawful act.”
When you take these definitions into consideration, you realize that Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust – C.R.S. 18-3-405.3, isn't all that difficult to be charged with. In fact, touching the clothed breast or butt of a child under the age of 18, when you are in a position of trust (such as a teacher, coach, etc.) could be seen as a crime – you could face Position of Trust charges if the action was construed as being for a sexual purpose.
Examples of Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust Charges
Here at the O'Malley Law Office, we focus on defending people who have been charged with sex offenses in Adams, Jefferson, and El Paso County. One of the crimes we handle the most is Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust. That's because it is easily charged, and often, there is no physical evidence to back up a child's claim of sexual contact. Because of this, we're going to use real examples of people in the Denver area who have faced Position of Trust charges. They are true stories (with the names changed).
Cup Check Conviction
A teacher in the Denver area was sentenced indeterminately for performing ‘cup checks.' He would strike his hands in the genital area of some of his male students. Now, while this is inappropriate behavior for a teacher, his punishment went far beyond what is appropriate. Last year, he was sentenced for 8 years to life under Colorado's indeterminate sentence law. None of the young students were harmed our touched sexually. While the teacher's behavior was awkward and uncomfortable, the sentence is the same for him as for someone who actually had a sexual relationship with a child. This isn't justice, but it's the way our current laws are set up.
One of our clients (we'll call her Malinda) found herself facing Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust charges. She routinely volunteered at her local church, and was accused of having sexual contact with one of the young women she was mentoring. The accusations were completely false. Experienced defense attorney, Terry O'Malley, fought hard for her in the courtroom, and by the grace of God, she was found ‘not guilty' at trial. False accusations are much more common than you think – people are often caught completely off-guard. Those who volunteer at church or are in mentoring positions with unstable or troubled youth are more in danger of being false accused.
Making Up Stories
Another one of our clients was accused of having sexual contact with a child – his accuser was his step-daughter. Two sex crimes lawyers from the O'Malley Law Office fought hard in the courtroom to prove the accusations were false. The little girl was obviously making up stories – there was no evidence to prove she was telling the truth. On the witness stand, one of our lawyers made up a convoluted story, and the little girl agreed it was true, before telling more lies to the judge and jury. Even with the obvious falseness of her words, the DA refused to dismiss the case. By God's grace, few hours later the jury came back with a ‘not guilty' verdict.The complexity of the courtroom can be overwhelming – the expertise of a defense attorney is priceless.
Why You Need the Best Lawyer for Sexual Assault, Position of Trust Charges
If you are facing Positions of Trust charges, you need to contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer immediately. Don't hire a lawyer who practices in other areas of the law – you need a full-time criminal defense attorney who focuses on sex crime cases (our attorneys teach other defense lawyers how to work on sex crime cases). This is for the following reasons:
1.Criminal law is complex, and the law related to sex offenses is even more convoluted.
2.Politics in the courtroom (especially when children are the alleged victim), are extremely strong. This is because the District Attorney and judge want to appear “tough on crime” when the alleged victim is a child. They often ignore the lack of evidence, and move forward with the case with the testimony of a child as the only evidence.
3.Fear of judgement: We all tend to internalize and personalize the things we hear when it comes to children. Often, a child's testimony isn't questioned, because the jury, judge, or DA are afraid of what the general public will think of their actions.
4.Harsh consequences: There are harsh consequences for Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust charges. It is subject to both a mandatory prison sentence and indeterminate sentencing, and results in sex offender treatment and registration.
Because of the politics and complexity of Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust cases, you need the insight and experience of a knowledgeable sexual crime defense lawyer in the courtroom. The lawyers at our office are experienced at instructing the jury about the DAs duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. We utilize expert witnesses and other professionals to aid in your case if necessary. Here at the O'Malley Law Office, we fight to win.
Get Help Now
If you or a loved one is facing Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust charges, 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. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation