September 19, 2023
Recently, a Colorado man received the longest-ever sentence for human trafficking in U.S. history.
Brock Franklin, 31, was convicted on 30 violations that fall under Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act, including numerous sex crimes. Several children and women provided testimony for the prosecution. The sentence reached 472 years because Franklin was a repeat offender, which allowed for sentence enhancements.
In the original indictment, six other offenders were involved. One man’s charges were dismissed. The other five men pleaded guilty to their offenses. These men received either prison sentences or deferred sentences.
So why such a lengthy sentence for Franklin? The district attorney stated that the unusually long sentence sends a message that human trafficking will not be permitted in Colorado.
As mentioned above, Franklin’s charges included several sexual offenses. Let’s look at each offense in detail to learn what the laws have to say.
Colorado law prohibits human trafficking for the purpose of sexual servitude in commercial sexual activity. The law states that a violation is a Class 3 felony for the trafficking of adults, and a Class 2 felony for the trafficking of minors. The law still applies even if the minor consented to the offender’s actions. It also applies if the age of the alleged victim was unknown or assumed to be over the age of 18 years.
Human trafficking covers a lot of ground, and someone can be charged for coercing, enticing, isolating, recruiting, transferring, transporting, harboring, selling, receiving, or obtaining individuals for sexual servitude.
The statutes that involve child prostitution include the following areas:
Child pandering—Class 3 felony
Threatening or intimidating a child to commit prostitution—Class 2 felony
Procuring a child for prostitution—Class 3 felony
Maintaining a place for child prostitution—Class 3 felony
Using the money a child earns through prostitution—Class 3 felony
Inducing a child with word or action to commit prostitution—Class 3 felony
Engaging in a sexual act with a child prostitute—Class 3 felony
Entering in or remaining in a place of child prostitution with sexual intent—Class 3 felony
Colorado’s sexual assault laws prohibit sexual penetration of another individual against their will and without their consent. They also prohibit sexual contact with minors aged 4-14 years. An offender who is at least 10 years older than a minor who is 15 or 16 years old commits a violation.
Another aspect of the law is unlawful sexual contact. This includes touching an individual’s private parts. Unlawful sexual contact occurs when the victim does not provide consent or is incapacitated. Coercing a person under the age of 18 to expose private parts or engage in sexual contact or penetration is considered unlawful sexual contact. This law prohibits the use of date rape drugs.
Both laws prohibit sexual conduct with an incapacitated person. An offender who has authority over a person admitted to a hospital, jail, or prison is not permitted to coerce that person into sexual conduct. This behavior cannot be claimed as medical treatment.
Violations of these laws carry significant penalties. A sexual assault conviction can be a Class 2, 3, or 4 felony, or a Class 1 misdemeanor with extraordinary risk. An unlawful sexual contact conviction results in either a Class 4 felony or a Class 1 misdemeanor with extraordinary risk.
The Colorado Organized Crime Control Act prosecutes acts of racketeering. A violation is a Class 2 felony with a maximum fine of $25,000, along with a requirement to forfeit any proceeds.
If You Are Facing Charges
For crimes like these, it’s essential to contact an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney as soon as charges are filed against you.
Your reputation, livelihood, and future are all at risk when you face sex crime charges. A felony charge can mean a long prison term and steep fines, and can create problems for finding quality employment or housing for the rest of your life in addition to costing you other freedoms.
A misdemeanor for a sex crime is a big deal too. Since it is categorized as an extraordinary risk, it comes with longer incarceration time and higher fines that other misdemeanors.
With the help of a skilled attorney, you can build a strong defense against your charges. We will work hard to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Get in touch today for a free confidential case review.
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 designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.