Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Colorado Teacher Charged with Sex Assault on a Child, Position of Trust

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Apr 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

A Colorado teacher was charged with Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust. Learn more in our blog.
I read it in the news almost every day. Another teacher has been arrested and charged with Sexual Assault on a Child. This happens all over Colorado, in Denver, Adams, and Jefferson County. I can't help but wonder if the punishment fits the crime in many of the cases. Let's take a look at the most recent case to see what I mean.

Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust

First, I must explain: When a person who is in a place of authority over a child is charged with sexual assault on that child, they are charged with – Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust – C.R.S. 18-3-405.3. Under normal circumstances, Sexual Assault on a Child is charged whenever a person has sexual contact with a child under the age of 15 (when they themselves are four years or more older than the child). But, when the sexual contact occurs between a person in a position of trust (a teacher, counselor, coach, pastor, etc.), the age of the child is raised to anyone under the age of 18. And, as we all know,  the difference in the level of maturity between a 17-year old and a 14-year-old is enormous.

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”65%”]Casual hook-ups are common and expected in today's high school culture. [/pullquote]

Teenagers are Highly Sexual in Today's World

Teens and even children live in a highly sexual world. Casual hook-ups, sexting, and the approval of peers based on sexual exploits and expertise are all common. We have seen this type of matured and highly sexualized behaviors in our cases among children 10 and under.

Sex, Social Media, and Teenagers

Teenagers are obsessed with sex. While we can't say for certain they are obsessed more than they were in the past, the use of social media provides an outlet for the hormone-driven decisions of high school students in Douglas, Arapahoe, and Larimer County. Status is a huge part of teenager's lives, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. You can't simply enjoy life in today's day and age – you must share it online to display your status to the world (much like a peacock fanning its tail-feathers). This is especially true when it comes to sexual relationships. In a recent article, one teenager girl who was interviewed told the writer: “Oral is, like, the new kissing.” Casual sex and hook-ups are common and expected in this culture, among younger and younger kids.

Teenagers are Sexually Active

Adults tend to be ignorant about teenagers' sexuality. But, a recent study suggests that 46% of all high school age students are sexually active in Boulder, El Paso, and Clear Creek County. This number jumps to 62% for high school seniors. Why is this important? Because the student in the Colorado case is 17-years-old: A senior in high school. So while teenagers are choosing to become more and more sexually active, anyone over the age of 18 may be at risk of being charged with sexual assault.

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”65%”]A recent study suggests that 62% of high school seniors are sexually active.[/pullquote]

Case Study: Colorado Teacher and High School Student in a Relationship

Let's look at the most recent example in the news. Just today, a story broke about a substitute teacher in Conejos County. Allegedly, the 30-year-old woman was carrying on a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. The article says “boy.” As we have seen, this “boy” lives in a culture saturated and defined by sex. According to the news, the relationship between the teacher and student was found out after an investigation. A sheriff's deputy discovered the teacher was meeting the boy at his workplace and leaving with him during his lunch break. It's important to look at this situation: The “boy” is seventeen years old. He is working like an adult. He got willingly into the car with the substitute teacher, and he willingly engaged in a sexual encounter. Teens are highly sexual in the modern world. He was most likely sexually active before he even began his relationship with the substitute teacher, yet according to Colorado law, he is not responsible for his decision, but only a victim!

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”65%”]The 17-year-old is not responsible for his actions – he is treated as the victim.[/pullquote]

The Sentence  is Harsh for this Sex Offense

Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust is either a class 4 or class 3 felony, depending on the circumstances. But, either way, it is subject to indeterminate sentencing, which means a person who is convicted will face an unknown amount of time in prison. For example, let's say this teacher is convicted of the class 4 felony. She would be sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections for 2 years to life. Her release would be dependent on the Colorado Parole Board's decision. She would also be required to go through sex offender training (overseen by the Sex Offender Management Board) and be treated the same as a pedophile or serial rapist. She would also be required to register as a sex offender upon her release.

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”75%”]For the Colorado teacher, the punishment doesn't fit the crime.[/pullquote]

The Punishment Doesn't Match the Crime, Which is Why You Need a Lawyer

The teacher should have known better than to have had a relationship with a 17-year-old. But, her mistake doesn't warrant the same treatment as a person who has a sexual encounter with a 5-year-old. In Colorado, they are treated the same. This is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight on your behalf in court. The criminal lawyers at our office will fight to protect your future.

Request a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust, like the Colorado teacher, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880, or submit the “Get Help Now” form. Together, we can protect your future.

Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo /

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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