PATTERN OF SEXUAL ABUSE, DEFINED
Pattern of Sexual Abuse – Sexual Assault on a Child
Traditional Sexual Assault on a Child, and Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust charges are aggravated when they involve allegations of pattern conduct. “Pattern” concerns arise when a child alleges sexual contact more than one time with the same victim. When a child under eighteen years old says that any sexual contact occurred more than one time, you will likely face an elevated mandatory prison count labeled a class three felony (F3). Interestingly, this “Pattern” charge can occur under both a Position of Trust claim and a straight Sexual Assault on a Child claim, in Denver, Broomfield and Douglas County.
Pattern of Sexual Abuse Defined
C.R.S. 18-3-405(2) provides that a normal, class four Sexual Assault on a Child charge will be elevated to the class 3, pattern charge, if “the actor commits the offense as part of a pattern of sexual abuse.” “Pattern of Sexual Abuse” is defined as, “the commission of two or more incidents of sexual contact involving a child when such offenses are committed by an actor upon the same victim.” Remember that in Lakewood, Aurora and Northglenn, the foundational Sexual Assault on a Child charge involves someone four or more years older than a child who is less than fifteen years old. This does not mean that someone is off the hook if the child is fifteen or over. It merely means that another crime should be examined for that age group. If your circumstances fit this class 3 felony, you will be facing mandatory prison. The normal class 4 felony Sexual Assault on a Child does not require mandatory DOC time, but can be sentenced that way if the judge desire.
For Sexual Assault on a Child, by One in a Position of Trust cases, C.R.S. 18-3-405.3 should be examined. Here, circumstances are similar to those directly above. With any child “victim” under the age of eighteen years, if a Pattern of Sexual Abuse is alleged, the defendant will be charged with a class 3 felony which requires mandatory prison or DOC (Department of Corrections) time.
Good Faith Belief that a Child is Over Eighteen Years Old?
Since age matters so much in determining whether a person is charged with the mandatory prison class 3 felony, remember that under C.R.S. 18-1-503.5, it is an affirmative defense if the person charged reasonably believed the child to be eighteen years old and they in fact were at least fifteen years old. The only exception to this rule is with Position of Trust cases, where it does not apply.
There are many other factors which will influence the type of sentence a person faces when a child makes allegations of sexual contact. Not all are included here. Contact our experienced child sexual assault lawyers if you anticipate charges anywhere in Colorado, including Arapahoe, Adams, and Jefferson County. Above all else, be smart, exercise your constitutional right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.