A Colorado Springs therapist was arrested last year under suspicion of Sexual Assault on a Client by a Psychotherapist – C.R.S. 18-3-405.5. In Adams, Denver, and Jefferson County, it is illegal for a therapist or counselor to have a sexual relationship with a client. This law is outdated and unjust. This is because this crime is a sex offense, which means a person convicted of this crime will be treated the same as a serial rapist. A person who has a mutual, adult, sexual relationship should not be treated so harshly. Let's look closer at this law to understand what I mean.
Aggravated Sexual Assault for a Mutual Relationship?
The law states a psychotherapist will be charged with aggravated sexual assault if they have a sexual relationship with a client. The client's consent for the sexual relationship is not considered. In fact, the law even states:
“Consent by the client…shall not constitute a defense to such offense.”
In other words, a healthy client could initiate a sexual relationship, then call the police the next day and report it. The therapist would be held responsible for the act – regardless of the fact there was no victim in the case. How can a person be called a “victim” if they were clear-headed and willing? How can a person be charged with “aggravated sexual assault” for a normal, mutual sexual relationship?[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”50%”]In Colorado, a person can be charged with “Sexual Assault” for a mutual relationship.[/pullquote]
Therapist in El Paso County Arrested for Sex with a Client
Unbelievably, this unjust law is in effect and is charged throughout Colorado, in Douglas, Arapahoe, and Larimer County. According to a news report, a woman called the police and told them she had met a therapist during group counseling sessions in Colorado Springs. They went out for drinks, and then slept together. They met again a few days later and again engaged in a sexual relationship (this time with a second woman). A month later, she reported the incident to the police. Let's consider the fact that she consented to the sexual relationship – not only once, but twice, and with a second woman. This wasn't a rape or undue influence situation – this therapist didn't attack his client in an alley, follow her home, or violently and physically force himself on her. Yet, he will be treated as if he was a violent criminal in our justice system.
What is the Sentence for Sexual Assault on a Client by a Psychotherapist?
This crime is a class 4 felony. Because it is a sex offense, it is treated harshly in Colorado. It is subject to:
If a person is convicted of this sex crime, they will be sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections for 2 years to life. This crime is considered to be as serious as Sexual Assault on a Child, Sexual Assault, and Incest. How can this be? Our justice system degrades true victims of sexual violence when they treat mutual sexual relationships the same as violent sex crimes. A person convicted of Sexual Assault on a Client by a Psychotherapist will also be required to go through sex offender treatment overseen by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). The SOMB treats all sex offenders the same, regardless of the offense. A person who has a mutual sexual relationship with an adult should not be treated as a person who has a forced sexual relationship with a child. Yet, our courts view them the same. This goes for sex offender registration as well. A person convicted of this crime will be required to register as a sex offender and deal with the negative effects of being a registered sex offender in Colorado Springs.
Are You a Therapist Accused of Sex Assault? You Need a Lawyer
Our criminal justice system isn't logical. They treat people who have mutual sexual relationships with consenting adults the same as people who force themselves on unwilling victims. This isn't justice. If you have been accused of sexual assault and you are a therapist, don't hesitate – contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney to fight on your behalf. You need an expert in the courtroom who knows what a judge or District Attorney is looking for. You need someone who knows the laws related to sex offenses well. Here at the O'Malley Law Office, we fight to win.Request a Free Consultation