Uber drivers are becoming more convenient for commuters to use in Denver. Men and women can find an Uber driver in minutes just by using the Uber app, which is quick and reliable. Two women in Denver, however, may be reconsidering choosing an Uber driver the next time they go out. According to a news story, after a 24-year-old woman and her friend went out for Halloween night, they arranged for an Uber driver to take them back to their hotel in Denver. When the Uber driver picked them up, they were both intoxicated. The Uber driver allegedly told both of them to sit in the front seat of his minivan, which is when both women fell asleep. One of the women reported waking up to the Uber driver penetrating her vaginally with his fingers. He then tried to follow both women back to their hotel room, but left after one woman started filming him with her phone. In Denver and Arapahoe County, based on these accusations the Uber driver would be charged with Sexual Assault.
Sexual Assault Is Charged When a Victim is Physically Helpless and Can't Consent in Denver
In Denver and Arapahoe County, Sexual Assault, C.R.S 18-3-402, is charged in many different ways. As it pertains to the news story, Sexual Assault, C.R.S 18-3-402(1)(h), is charged any time an actor knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or penetration on a victim if the victim is physically helpless and the actor knows the victim is physically helpless and the victim hasn't consented.
If the woman's allegations are proven in court, that the Uber driver penetrated her private parts while she was asleep (while she was physically helpless), it would be considered Felony Sexual Assault. A Denver District Attorney would argue the woman wasn't able to consent to the sexual contact, and the driver knew she hadn't consented since she was asleep. Unfortunately, even if the woman was lying about the sexual assault, no physical evidence has to be present for the driver to be convicted by a jury of Sexual Assault.
Uber Driver and Sexual Assault: Consequences of Class 3 Felony Sexual Assault in Colorado
For committing sexual assault on a victim who is physically helpless, Sexual Assault is considered a class 3 felony in Denver and Aurora, and across Colorado. Because of Colorado's harsh indeterminate sentencing laws, a judge could sentence a defendant convicted of class 3 felony Sexual Assault to at least four years in prison, while a maximum prison time frame won't be set. This is called an indeterminate sentence.
However, based on factors such as a required sex offender evaluation (C.R.S. 16-11.7-104), and the criteria for granting probation (18-1.3-203), a judge could also sentence a defendant to probation for at least twenty years, and a maximum probation limit won't be set. This is indeterminate probation. Because the stakes are so high in a class 3 felony Sexual Assault case, it's absolutely vital you involve an experienced defense lawyer early on. The rest of your life depends on the outcome of your case.
Sexual Penetration Doesn't Have to Occur to Be Charged in Adams County
Even though the driver didn't have intercourse with either of the women, in Adams and Douglas County, sexual penetration doesn't have to occur to be charged with Sexual Assault. The statute for Sexual Assault mentions that sexual assault occurs when a person submits another to sexual penetration or sexual intrusion without that person's consent. According to 18-3-401(5), sexual intrusion includes:
“any intrusion, however slight, by any object or any part of a person's body, except the mouth, tongue, or penis, into the genital or anal opening of another person's body if that sexual intrusion can reasonably be construed as being for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.”
If it's true the driver penetrated the woman's intimate parts with his fingers, it would be considered sexual intrusion.
Why You Need the Best Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys in Denver
If you've been accused, arrested or charged with Sexual Assault in Denver or anywhere else in Colorado, you need a knowledgeable sex crimes defense attorney working alongside you. Our full-time criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to our clients and fight hard for a strong defense in court. Call our office today.Request a Free Consultation