A person charged with Sexual Assault in Denver, Douglas, or Arapahoe County may be faced with a misdemeanor, or up to a class 2 felony. The class of crime charged depends upon the circumstances of the case and determines how much is at stake. In most cases though, there is limited physical evidence and whether you win or lose depends on who’s version the jury believes.
A Common Element
A person commits Sexual Assault in Lincoln County when he or she knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion upon a victim against the victim’s will. For this article, we will focus on the elements which differentiate the class of crime charged in Sexual Assault cases. In a later article we will discuss the potential penalties.
The Misdemeanor Sexual Assault
A person is charged with a class 1 misdemeanor for Sexual Assault when the alleged victim is at least 15 years old and less than 17, and the accused is at least 10 years older than the alleged victim. It does not matter who initiates the sexual contact, the older person is always at fault. For example, if a 16 year old paper boy willingly has sexual contact with a 26 year old customer, she will be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor sexual assault.
Felony Sexual Assaults in Colorado
If we change the age of the paper boy to 14 and the age of the customer to 18 or older (a four year difference), this Sexual Assault jumps to a class 4 felony with tremendously higher consequences. In both cases, if the customer was a baby sitter to the paper boy, she will probably be charged with Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust, C.R.S. 18-3-405.3, with even more severe consequences.
Sexual Assault charges are filed in Jefferson or Adams County as a class 3 felony if the victim was physically helpless. This may include a victim who was drunk, high on drugs or sleeping at the time of an alleged assault or if the victim was physically forced into submission, threatened with violence or kidnapped. Date rape drugging is a common example of a Sexual Assault which is filed as a class 3 felony.
Finally, a person is charged with a class 2 felony in Broomfield and Park County under three general circumstances; when someone is aided by at least one other person in the commission of the Sexual Assault (i.e. gang rape), if the victim suffers serious bodily injury, or if the actor uses a deadly weapon or something that looks like a deadly weapon.