Even I am sometimes surprised at how a misdemeanor charge like Unlawful Sexual Contact can become a felony in Denver, Arapahoe or Jefferson County. This crime normally involves touching someone else’s intimate parts without their permission. For example, imagine a drunk fellow grabbing the breast or butt of a woman in a bar. But, there are circumstances where this charge morphs into an even more serious felony crime.
Unlawful Sexual Contact with Mandatory Prison?
The first situation where this crime becomes a felony involves a person who compels another to submit to the sexual contact by force, intimidation, or threat in Douglas or Adams County. An example would be a man who corners a woman in an isolated shopping mall hallway and holds her while he touches her sexually. Colorado’s legislature feels that this conduct should be sentenced more harshly than the bar incident described above. Force, intimidation or threats + the touching of another is more invasive than touching alone. We can see how this makes sense. In addition, this class four felony crime has mandatory prison time attached to it. Probation is not possible. We don’t agree that this always makes sense.
Abuse of Trust by Medical Personnel – A Class 4 Felony
The next situation where Unlawful Sexual Contact grows into a felony is where medical personnel engage in treatment or the examination of another inconsistent with bona fide medical purposes or reasonable medical practices. There is a violation of trust in the commission of this crime, and that is the reason our lawmakers have made it a class 4 felony in Aurora, Castle Rock and Arvada. Fortunately, this crime only has potential prison – probation is possible.
Consequences of a Conviction
Felony sexual conduct convictions results in sex offender treatment, potential or mandatory prison sentences, jail time, probation, sex offender registration, and severe restrictions on contact with children (even if the underlying crime did not involve children). Colorado’s one-size-fits-all programming often has absurd results. Fortunately, there are some courageous judges and district attorneys who understand the purpose of our laws and will agree to tailor them to individual circumstances. Unfortunately, this does not occur the majority of the time. Read another Unlawful Sexual Contact blog.
We are always glad to offer a free initial consultation for Unlawful Sexual Contact at our office in south Denver, or north Denver. So, be smart, don’t talk with the Lakewood police or the Jefferson County Sheriff, but instead call 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.