What Leads to Psychotherapist Sexual Assault Charges?
Any sexual contact between a mental health professional and a patient is unlawful in Colorado, from fondling to intercourse. C.R.S. 18-3-405.5 addresses the specific violations in Littleton, Lakewood, and Arvada. A counselor or therapist commits sexual assault of a client by a psychotherapist if they:
- knowingly subject a client to any sexual contact,
- or have sexual contact with a client via therapeutic deception
The charges / penalties for psychotherapist sexual assault depend on the specific contact and frequency. We sometimes see these charges in situations where a therapist and client become particularly close through therapy sessions, resulting in a romantic relationship. It is important to note that regardless of consent and age difference, these sexual behaviors are unlawful throughout Colorado.
Penalties for Sexual Assault by a Psychotherapist in Colorado
Sexual assault on a client by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor is a class 1 misdemeanor if the sexual contact included touching, groping, or fondling. Penalties can include:
- 6 – 18 months in county jail,
- up to $5,000 in fines
However, if the situation involved sexual intrusion or penetration between the licensed professional and the client, aggravated sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist charges can follow. This class 4 felony can result in:
- an indeterminate prison sentence of 2 years – life,
- up to $500,000 in fines
Additionally, conviction can also lead to loss of professional licenses and sex offender registration.
Jefferson County Sex Crime Lawyer
Criminal charges involving sex between a mental health professional and patient are complicated and the stakes are particularly high. A skilled sex crimes lawyer with years of experience is essential if accusations are mounting. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation where we will analyze your situation and suggest next steps.
If you or someone you know is facing sexual assault by a psychotherapist charges in Colorado, be smart. Contact the top defense attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo Credit: Pexels – mentatgdt