Just the other day I was having a discussion with a friend of mine regarding the sex offense laws in Colorado. Our criminal defense attorneys are currently working on several Sexual Assault on a Child cases. These cases are serious – if our clients are convicted, they will be sentenced to prison for an indeterminate time (such as 4 years to life), will be required to register as a sex offender, and go through extremely invasive sex offender treatment. When it comes to protecting our children in Denver, Adams, and Jefferson County, I believe sex crimes are not being handle properly. This is where our current laws break down. Let me explain what I mean:
1. Definitions are Over-Broad
The definition of Sexual Assault on a Child is wildly broad. All that is needed is for a conviction is for “sexual contact” against a child to occur. The definition of sexual contact is the knowing touching of a person's intimate parts (external genitalia, butt, or breasts), or the clothing covering the intimate parts if the purpose of the contact is for sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. So, if a man touches the clothed breasts of a 14-year-old girl, he will be treated the same as a man who rapes a child. This doesn't seem right.
2. A Child's Accusation is All You Need
In order to be convicted of Sexual Assault on a Child, all a child has to do is to make an accusation. We have defended clients in Arapahoe, Douglas, and El Paso County where there was no physical evidence of a crime. In fact, there was an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove the crime never occurred. Because judges are afraid of making an unpopular decision like ruling in favor of an alleged sex offender, justice isn't always served. Men who are falsely accused of Sexual Assault on a Child can go to prison if they are convicted, or their case isn't handled correctly, and will be treated the same as men who actually did the acts they are charged with.
3. Punishment Doesn't Fit the Crime
Our laws are far too harsh and don't discriminate between levels of crime. The Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) provides treatment for sex offenders in Colorado. One of the requirements for release from prison under an indeterminate sentence is the completion of sex offender treatment. In order to complete sex offender treatment, a person must admit to his or her crime. This is difficult to do when they were convicted as the result of a false accusation. The system is flawed and broken. The attorneys at our office fight hard to stop this from happening by working to get cases dismissed for people who have been falsely accused.
Conclusion: We Need to Reform Our Sex Offense Laws
We have worked with many people who have been charged with sex crimes in Glendale, Aurora, and Englewood. I know many of them personally, and also know that many of them are good people who have been falsely accused, were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or simply made a mistake. The current laws in Colorado regarding sex crimes don't allow justice to be served – many innocent people are suffering.Request a Free Consultation