A Primer on Sexual Assault Charges in Colorado

Primer on Sexual Assault Charges

In Denver and throughout Colorado, being accused of a sexual assault crime is a serious matter that can result in life-changing incarceration.  Even the stigma of being accused without a conviction can be one of the most difficult things a person may ever face.

Criminal courts in Colorado deal with different levels of sexual assault ranging from misdemeanors to a range of felonies.  The various levels all come with minimum required legal penalties including jail time and parole.  Conviction of a sexual assault felony may result in up to a lifetime prison sentence and fines totaling $1 million.  Convicted offenders at all levels will also be registered for Colorado’s sex offender list.

By definition, a person commits sexual assault if they knowingly inflict sexual intrusion or penetration under certain circumstances.  These circumstances can include using force or coercing another person, including with the use of drugs or alcohol or if the alleged victim is not able to give their consent to sexual activity, or if the accused uses authority over the victim, or if the alleged assault happens as part of rendering medical treatment.

And although consensual sex may take place between parties, if the alleged victim is under 15 or the alleged victim is between the ages of 15-17 and the accused is four years old or older, the courts will consider that a crime has been committed as well.

Penalties for sexual assault are enhanced when a defendant uses a deadly weapon, a date rape drug or was helped by someone, or if the victim suffers a serious injury or was threatened with imminent death, extreme pain, kidnapping or future retaliation.