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Often when you hear the terms Position of Trust or Position of Authority it is related to Sexual Assault on a Child charges. However, there is a provision of the Adams County Sexual Assault statute that deals with Position of Authority. I was reminded of this after reading about a Westminster Police Officer being charged with Sexual Assault while on duty. While not many details have been released, the officer is out of custody on a $20,000 bond and has been charged with two counts of Sexual Assault.
Douglas County Sexual Assault Lawyer: What is the Definition of Sexual Assault in Arapahoe County?
The Arapahoe and Douglas County, Colorado law definition of Sexual Assault – C.R.S. 18-3-402(1)(f) – as it relates to the Position of Authority is:
(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if:
(f) The victim is in custody of law or detained in a hospital or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim and uses this position of authority to coerce the victim to submit, unless the act is incident to a lawful search;
Because the officer is facing the Sexual Assault charge under this subsection, the accusing victim must have been detained at the time of the alleged assault. Otherwise, the Position of Authority would not apply. The victim has to be in custody AND the actor has authority over the victim in order to be charged under this subsection. This is an especially risky time for anyone in authority to have sexual contact with an inmate or arrestee, because the woman might reveal the sex in an effort to reduce her criminal charges.
Sentence for Sexual Assault by One in a Position of Authority in Jefferson County
Unless certain circumstances apply, Sexual Assault is charged as a class 4 felony. However, it was alleged that the officer used force, which would be charged as a class 3 felony in Jefferson, Denver, and Adams County. A class 3 felony Sexual Assault is punishable by 4 to life in the Colorado Department of Corrections. In the case above, the Sexual Assault could even be charged as a class 2 felony, as police officers usually carry a firearm, and the presence of a deadly weapon increases the penalties involved in a Sex Assault.