What Is a Pattern of Sexual Abuse in Colorado?

The pattern of sexual abuse charges in Colorado are more common than you may think – and they’re very grave for those who are accused, carrying with them a lifetime of consequences both legal and collateral.

However, a pattern of sexual abuse crime is not one that is well understood by many, including those accused of the crime or even victims themselves.

It’s vital to understand what these types of charges are and what they can result in – if it can be established that a pattern of sexual abuse has occurred. Read on to learn more about this crime and what types of penalties a person can face if they are found guilty of it.

Sexual Assault on a Child in Colorado

If you want to understand what a pattern of sexual abuse is in Colorado, you first must understand other crimes – specifically, sexual assault on a child.

Sexual assault on a child in Colorado is a felony crime. It occurs when someone knowingly subjects a child to sexual contact. The defendant must be a minimum of four years older than the victim, and the victim must be less than 15 and not married to the accused.

This is usually a Class 4 felony but may be considered a Class 3 felony if:

  • Force is used to commit the crime
  • Threats were made that put the child in fear of their life or of bodily injury
  • The perpetrator makes future threats in order to facilitate sexual contact
  • There is a pattern of abuse present in the case

If it is a Class 4 felony, then it is punishable by up to six years in prison and fines of as much as $500,000. If it’s a Class 3 felony, then the penalties can be up to 12 years behind bars and fines of as much as $750,000. However, using a deadly weapon or threatening to do so will result in up to life in prison.

Pattern of Sexual Abuse Charges

The pattern of sexual abuse charges is in the same category of crimes as sexual assault on a child and sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust. It’s simply an aggravated felony version of sexual assault on a child.

To be charged with this crime, a person must show that there is a pattern to the sexual abuse being perpetrated. A pattern is indicated by committing two or more acts of sexual contact with a child.

Denver Sexual Assault Charges


If you are found guilty of this crime, it is a Class 3 felony and can result in up to 12 years in prison. It also subjects you to the requirement to register as a sex offender for life. Thus, ensuring that you have an appropriate and robust defense is crucial.

Any allegations of sexual abuse are very serious, and you need to make sure you fully understand the charges against you, your rights in the court process, and how to establish a skilled defense against the charges.

Remember, no matter what you are accused of doing, you are innocent until proven guilty in the United States, and you deserve a chance to defend yourself in court. That’s why you need the involvement of an attorney as soon as possible after you are arrested and charged with a crime this serious.


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.