Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust is a serious felony offense in Colorado. Charges can result from any sexual contact between a young person under 18 and someone who is responsible for that young person’s health, welfare, education, or supervision. Regardless of whether the sexual behavior was consensual or the age difference, lifelong ramifications exist for the adult involved. Earlier this summer, a Colorado teacher was arrested for child sex assault charges who had been employed in multiple school districts. Anyone facing sex crime charges as a position of trust should contact an expert sex offense attorney immediately.
Position of trust Colorado Law
C.R.S. 18-3-405.3 defines the circumstances of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust in Colorado. An adult commits this offense when they:
- knowingly engage in sexual contact with a minor under 18,
- and are responsible in any way for that minor’s health, welfare, education, or supervision
Sexual contact refers to touching breasts, buttocks, or genital areas for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. The private parts don’t need to be exposed either. Fondling over clothing is sufficient for charges to result. Furthermore, both an adult touching the young person or the child touching the adult is unlawful. The overarching label of position of trust applies to a great deal of titles including roles like administrators, teachers, coaches, pastors, school resource officers, and also many health care professionals.
Consequences for sex assault on a child by a position of trust
The penalties for sexual assault on a child involving a position of trust are severe. In cases where the sexual contact occurs one time with a 15, 16, or 17 year old, a class 4 felony applies. Punishment can include 2 – 6 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and a fine of up to $500,000. However, if the sexual behavior involved a child under 15 or there was a pattern of sexual contact, a class 3 felony can result. Potential consequences can be 4 – 12 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000.
Beyond incarceration and fines, SOAC by a position of trust can include especially long periods of sex offender intensive supervised probation (SOISP). Additionally, mandatory sex offender treatment managed by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board will be required alongside several different polygraphs. Finally, the requirement to register as a sex offender will apply to conviction, which can sometimes be lifelong. Year after year of these isolating and immobilizing requirements can take a significant toll on an offender and those close to them.
Expert Criminal Defense for Sexual Assault on a Child
An accusation of sexual assault on a child by a position of trust is a lot to handle. We often see situations where a teacher or coach faces an accusation of having a sexual relationship with a teenage student / pupil. Other times, a teen seeking attention will make an outrageous claim. Either way, representation from an experienced sex crimes attorney is paramount. Hiring a skilled defense lawyer early on can have a positive impact on the outcome of these particularly sensitive cases. We highly recommend that those facing an accusation exercise their right to remain silent. Don’t talk with law enforcement, provide statements to investigators, or send electronic communication about your situation. Instead, contact our office for a free consultation where we will carefully analyze your unique case and suggest next steps.
If you or someone you know is a position of trust and facing child sex assault accusations, be smart. Contact the skilled sex crimes attorneys at O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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