Image Source: Pixabay-DarkoStojanovic
Having sexual contact with an adult who cannot consent and is considered ‘at-risk' is charged as Sexual Assault on an At-Risk Adult. Two nurses were charged with this crime after helping two patients escape from a psychiatric facility to have sexual relationships with them. It was determined that the relationships became sexual after the patients left the facility. They men were court ordered to the facility for mental illness. Once found, one was sent back to the facility and the other was sent to a hospital. The women were arrested and released on bond.
Douglas County Crimes Against At-Risk Persons Attorney: Definition of Nurses Sexual Assault Against an At-Risk Adult in Arapahoe County
The Douglas and Araphaoe County, Colorado law definition of Crimes Against At-Risk Persons (7)(a) – C.R.S. 18-6.5-103(7)(a) – is:
(7) (a) Any person who commits a crime of sexual assault, as such crime is described in section 18-3-402, sexual assault in the first degree, as such crime was described in section 18-3-402, as it existed prior to July 1, 2000, and the victim is an at-risk person, commits a class 2 felony.
“At-risk adult” means any person who is seventy years of age or older or any person who is eighteen years of age or older and is a person with a disability. A mental health disorder is considered a disability under Colorado law. So, if this had occurred in Aurora, or Castle Rock, the women would be facing class 2 felonies.
Adams Sexual Assault on a Person with a Disability: Can a Person with a Disability Consent in Jefferson County?
Having sexual contact with a person diagnosed with a mental disorder does not always mean it's a crime. However, because the men were detained in a facility (as ordered by the court) and the nurses were in a position of authority as medical personnel, having sexual contact is criminal under the Sexual Assault statute – C.R.S. 18-3-402(1)(f):
(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;