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Simplified Law: Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges in Denver

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Jan 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

When people hear a sex offender has moved in next door, the most common response is usually disgust, fear, and self-righteousness. After all, a sex offender had to commit a heinous crime if they received that label, right? This is a wrong assumption. While some sex offenders may deserve the title, many people are convicted who simply made a bad decision, or were falsely accused. A crime that is commonly charged in Denver, El Paso, and Jefferson County, and throughout Colorado is Unlawful Sexual Contact – C.R.S. 18-3-404. This crime might sound awful, but in reality, a person can face misdemeanor Unlawful Sexual Contact charges after a fairly uneventful night out drinking. In today's Simplified Law blog, we're going to give you a simple definition of this extremely complex offense.

Facing Unlawful Sexual Contact charges?

Get Help Now! When you hear a sex offender has moved in next door, what are your thoughts? Many people don't deserve that title at all.

The Lawyer's Definition of Unlawful Sexual Contact

The legal jargon:

“Any person who knowingly subjects a victim to any sexual contact commits unlawful sexual contact if:
  • The actor knows that the victim does not consent; or
  • The actor knows that the victim is incapable of appraising the nature of the victim's conduct; or
  • The victim is physically helpless and the actor knows that the victim is physically helpless and the victim has not consented; or
  • The actor has substantially impaired the victim's power to appraise or control the victim's conduct by employing, without the victim's consent, any drug, intoxicant, or other means for the purpose of causing submission.”

The Definitions of “Sexual Contact” and “Intimate Parts”

Before I can give you the simple definition of Unlawful Sexual Contact, we first need to take a look at the definition of “sexual contact” as seen in the law. This can be found under C.R.S. 18-3-401 (4):

“Sexual Contact”

“'Sexual contact' means 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 area of the victim's or actor's intimate parts if that sexual contact is for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.”

While that seems fairly straightforward, we still must dig a little deeper into the law in order to fully understand just how easy it is to be charged with this sex offense in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Adams County. Let's take a look at the definition of “intimate parts” as referenced above, which can be found under C.R.S. 18-3-401 (2):

“Intimate Parts”

“'Intimate parts' means the external genitalia or the perineum or the anus or the buttocks or the pubes or the breasts of any person.”

As you can see, “intimate parts” is a very vague term, which also includes a person's butt, or a man's chest. And, even touching the clothing covering these areas qualifies as Unlawful Sexual Contact.

The Simple Definition of Unlawful Sexual Contact

The simplified version:

“Any person who touches another person's genitalia, butt, or breasts (or the clothing covering these areas) without consent, or when knowing a person is unable to consent, due to mental capacity or the impairment of alcohol, commits unlawful sexual contact.”

Examples of Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges

Image Credit: Pixabay - stux

Image Credit: Pixabay – stux

A Night Not to Celebrate

Ben wants to celebrate. He just won a big award in college for his writing, and he got promoted at work. So, he decides he's going to head to a few downtown Denver clubs to party the night away. He goes to one, drinks a few shots and a beer, and then walks to the next club, which just opened their dance floor. He's not usually a dancer, so he downs a few more shots before hitting the floor. The alcohol hits him hard, but he's enjoying himself, when he meets a girl named Ashley. She also seems a bit drunk, but the two hit it off. Soon, they're dancing very close, and Ben throws caution to the wind and grabs her butt while they dance. She doesn't seem to mind at all, however. Later, Ben takes a taxi and heads home to sleep off the alcohol. Later in the day, he gets a call from the Denver police. They question him about the night before, and say he is being investigated. Apparently, Ashley has a boyfriend whose best friend happened to see her with Ben on the dance floor. The friend confronted Ashley, who covered her tracks by saying Ben forced the contact. Now, Ben is facing Unlawful Sexual Contact charges.

Image Credit: Pixabay - jackmac34

Image Credit: Pixabay – jackmac34

Too Many Drinks

Hank has had a bad few weeks. He lost his job, was served divorce papers, and is now worrying about paying his bills so he doesn't get evicted. Feeling alone, Hank heads to the bar in his neighborhood in Highlands Ranch to drink away his sorrows. He drinks beer after beer, trying to forget all that he's going through. He meets a woman named Linda who seems very friendly. He orders her a drink, and they talk for hours, late into the evening. Linda says she thinks it is time for her to leave, and Hank says he will walk her to her car. When they reach her car, Hank decides to kiss her, and when he does, he grabs her breast. Unfortunately for Hank, Linda is not interested at all in this contact – she just wanted to make a friend. He misread the situation, because of the many drinks he's consumed. Linda slaps Hank, gets into her car, and rushes off. Hank manages to stumble home, but barely remembers the incident the next morning. Linda didn't forget, however. She called the police, and they contact Hank, who is now facing Unlawful Sexual Contact charges in Douglas County.

Sex crime charges need to be taken seriously – contact a lawyer immediately if you've been charged.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges

If you have been contacted by the police regarding Unlawful Sexual Contact charges, you need to contact an expert lawyer who will aggressively fight the charges against you. Unlawful Sexual Contact accusations have long-term consequences people don't often understand. In most cases, it is just a misdemeanor offense, so people think they can plead guilty and not go to jail. What they don't realize, is that Unlawful Sexual Contact is a sex offense and can be charged as a felony in some cases (visit the following page for a full description of felony Unlawful Sexual Contact). This means that anyone convicted of it will be required to register as a sex offender and undergo harsh sex offender treatment overseen by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board. All sex offenders are treated the same; a man who grabs a woman's butt in the bar will receive the same treatment as a man who violently grabs a woman on the street. This unjust sentence must be met with an aggressive defense. Don't plead guilty to avoid jail time, or think that a misdemeanor conviction “isn't a big deal.” Being a registered sex offender will put enormous limitations on your life and freedom. Contact a lawyer a hard-hitting criminal lawyer at our office to get the best possible outcome in your case. Here at the O'Malley Law Office, we fight to win.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is facing Unlawful Sexual Contact 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

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation