How Colorado Decides Who Is a Sexual Predator
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
Mental health professionals spend hours interviewing alleged and convicted sex offenders in order to understand what makes them tick. In a rehabilitation capacity, they also work to help offenders understand themselves.
Sometimes the measurement tools these trained professionals have in their toolbox help them understand the things a sex offender may not want to — or even know how to — share.
It’s thanks to the hard work of mental health professionals and law enforcement professionals such as those at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation that the characteristics of sex offenders are more readily understood today than ever.
Even with this understanding, though, it doesn’t mean that an offender can skirt the law. Here’s what sex offenders may not know about themselves and what types of charges and penalties are often associated with crimes involving these types of behaviors.
Colorado Laws on Three Common Sex Offenses
According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, there are many different categories of sexual offenses under Colorado law. There are some offenses that can result in lifetime supervision as a sex offender while others are not subject to the same regulations.
Three of the most common sex offenses are sexual assault, enticement of a child, and internet luring of a child. Read more about what the activities and behaviors each of these charges entail below.
Any sexual contact that is unwanted and involves penetration or intrusion of any kind can be grounds for a sexual assault charge. Penalties for a criminal conviction vary based on the age of a victim.
When the victim is between 15 and 17 years old and the perpetrator is 10 or more years older, for example, then it’s often charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction can end in 2 years in prison.
On the other end of the scale, if a sexual assault is aided by another person or the victim suffers bodily injury, an offender may be charged with a Class 2 felony. This charge can result in up to 48 years in prison.
All sexual assault convictions are subject to lifetime supervision in Colorado.
Enticement of a Child
When someone invites or persuades a child under 15 with the intent of committing unlawful sexual contact or sexual assault (or attempts to), Colorado law considers this the crime of enticement of a child.
At its least serious it is charged as a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 16 years in prison if it’s deemed a crime of violence. The most serious charge under this crime is a Class 3 felony for a child under the age of 15. It is punishable by up to 32 years in prison.
Charges of enticement of a child that result in convictions require lifetime supervision as well.
Internet Luring of a Child
This offense has become more common in the digital age. It occurs when a person communicates over a computer or computer network (or by text message) with a child, describing explicit sexual conduct and then persuading that child to meet for that purpose.
These activities are considered Class 5 felony offenses, punishable by up to 96 months in prison. If the child is lured with the intent to sexually exploit them, it is a Class 4 felony and punishable by up to 16 years in prison if found to be a crime of violence.
Luring a child over the internet is also a charge that can result in lifetime supervision.
These are only a handful of activities that can result in criminal charges connected with the term sexual predator. This is why an attorney is always needed to help protect your rights if you find yourself in the position of being charged with one of these crimes or one similar.
Understanding the law is paramount to ensuring your rights are upheld in court. Being labeled a sex offender can impact your whole life, so make sure you understand any charges against you fully before you proceed.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020 and is Lead Counsel rated.