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Statutory rape in Colorado involves sex with a person who is under the age of consent. Depending on the age difference of the people involved, having sex with someone who is underage can lead to criminal charges. Even if no force is involved, statutory rape is prosecuted as sexual assault, which can result in felony charges and require registration as a sex offender. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:. The age of consent in Colorado is Under the law, this means that someone who is under the age of 17 cannot legally consent to have sex.
Sex with someone who is under the age of consent can be a criminal offense, depending on the ages of people involved.
Sex with an underage minor could result in statutory rape charges. Statutory rape is the term for having sex with someone who is not old enough to give legal consent.
This can involve rape by submission of the victim, knowledge that the victim is incapable of consent, or facilitating sexual assault by giving the victim drugs or intoxicants.
In the case of statutory rape, the victim is unable to legally give consent because of their age. In many cases, the victim does not report the incident to police or law enforcement.
Instead, it may be their parents, teachers, or even a jealous ex who reports statutory rape to the police. People charged with statutory rape may feel that the term is unfair because it conjures up images of forcible sex and labels them as a rapist. However, under Colorado law, statutory rape and forcible rape are both charged as sexual assault.
There are a couple of exceptions to statutory rape charges in Colorado, including a close-in-age exception and a marriage exception. A person who is under the age of 15 can have sex with someone who is within 4 years of their age. What is the dating age limit in colorado example, a year-old can have sex with a year-old even though the year-old is under the age of consent. This is because the older individual is not more than 4 years older.
The allowable age difference is greater for individuals older than 15, but younger than Someone under the age of 17, but older than 15, can consent to have sex with someone who is not more than 10 years older. This is a broad close-in-age exception.
For example, a year-old could consent to have sex with a year-old because the older individual is not more than 10 years older. Additionally, the crime of statutory rape does not apply to individuals who are legally married. Sex with someone under the age of consent is not a criminal offense if it occurs between spouses. These exceptions only apply to statutory rape, not other forms of sexual assault. There is no close-in-age or marriage exception to rape or sexual assault.
The penalties for statutory rape depend on a number of factors, including the age difference between the individuals involved and the defendant's criminal history.
At the time of the commission of the act, if the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim, statutory rape is a class 4 felony. At the time of the commission of the act, if the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim, then the actor may be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for felony sexual assault requires registration as a sex offender.
Your name will be entered into the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's sex offender registry. Anyone may be able to search for felony sex offenders on a state website available to the public.
A conviction for misdemeanor sexual assault will not be listed on the sex offender registry. However, the second conviction for sexual assault may result be included on the sex offender registry. A sex offender will have to register with the local chief of police or county sheriff.
This includes providing their name, date of birth, address, place of employment, fingerprints, a photograph, email addresses, and instant messaging or chat room identities. They have to re-register every year within 5 days of their birthday. They also have to re-register if they change address or begin working at an institution of higher education.
Sexual assault convictions also subject the individual to lifetime supervision. Many people are surprised to learn they are charged with statutory rape because they believed the person to be over the age of consent. However, a mistake of fact is not a defense.
Even if the underage victim said they were 17, having sex What is the dating age limit in colorado them may still be considered statutory rape. Verbal consent is not a defense to statutory rape charges.
It does not matter if the underage individual wanted to have sex, agreed to have sex, or even instigated sex. No matter what the underage individual says or does, they are not legally able to consent to sex, making it a form of sexual assault. Even if you think you do not have a chance to fight statutory rape charges, you may have a number of possible defenses in your case.
It is also the prosecutor's burden of proof to show that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Possible defenses may include showing no sexual intercourse occurred or the alleged victim is making false accusations.