Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Statutory Rape Lawyer in Denver | Consent and Age Difference

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Sep 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

Sex with someone 16 or younger can lead to statutory rape charges in Denver, Lakewood, and Aurora. Even if the physical interaction is consensual, the age difference can lead to a lengthy prison sentence, fines, and sex offender registration. While there are a few close-in-age exceptions, being sure of a younger romantic partner's age before engaging sexually with them is critical. Far too many people sit in Colorado prisons for consensual, sexual behavior that didn't fit within specific age parameters. If you're being accused of having a sexual relationship with someone underage, contact an experienced statutory rape lawyer as soon as you can.

Denver Statutory Rape Law

Denver County's statutory rape law prohibits sexual penetration or intrusion with minors 16 and younger, unless you fit within one of the close-in-age exceptions or are married to the young person. Charged as sexual assault, CRS 18-3-402 defines the specific acts of statutory rape throughout Colorado. Police will pursue charges if they believe you:

  • engaged in an act of sexual penetration or intrusion,
  • with someone under the age of 17,
  • AND were 10 or more years older than a 15 or 16 year-old victim, or 4 or more years older than a victim 14 or younger

Usually the underage teen or young person isn't the one who reports the interaction or relationship. It's often the minor's parents / family member, teachers, or close friend who discovers what has been going on and notifies law enforcement. It is important to note that statutory rape is different than sexual assault on a child, which involves fondling a child under the age of 15.

What is the Punishment for Statutory Rape in Denver?

Statutory rape in Denver, Thornton, and Littleton is punished harshly. In cases where the victim is 15 or 16 and the defendant is at least 10 years older, a class 1 misdemeanor, extraordinary risk crime applies. A conviction in these situations can lead to:

  • a county jail sentence of up to 2 years,
  • a max fine of $5K

However, when the victim is under 15 and the defendant is at least 4 years older, a class 4 felony applies. Defendants in these cases face:

  • a prison sentence of up to 8 years,
  • fines of $2K – $500K,
  • sex offender registration

Colorado Sex Offense Lawyer

Just because you've been accused of statutory rape in Colorado doesn't mean you're guilty. Consulting an experienced statutory rape lawyer early on has many benefits and can lead to a better outcome. Perhaps sexual penetration or intrusion didn't happen or you're being falsely accused. Nonetheless, contact our office for a free, confidential consultation. We offer same-day jail visits, affordable fees, and flexible payment plans for those facing statutory rape charges throughout Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Aurora.

Don't talk to law enforcement about statutory rape allegations – talk to us. 303-830-0880

Photo by Ivan Samkov

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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