In Denver, Douglas County and across Colorado (under Colorado's Romeo and Juliet laws) a 16-year-old can consent to a sexual relationship with someone above the age of 18 if that person is less than 10 years older. For any child under 15 years of age, he / she can agree to a sexual relationship with somebody who's no more than 4 years older than him / her. Let's look at an example of how the Romeo and Juliet laws would apply:Jessica is 14 years of age and her boyfriend Adam is 17 years of age. They've been going out for 2 months and have had a sexual relationship, but their parents don't know about it. However, one day Adam drops Jessica off at her house in Jefferson County. When she gets out of his car, her parents see them kiss goodbye. Jessica's parents ask her about it when she comes inside the house. She admits that Adam is her boyfriend. Jessica's parents are furious. They think Adam should face criminal charges, thinking he's too old for their daughter. Fortunately for Adam, he wouldn't be charged. Their relationship wouldn't be illegal in Colorado because Adam is three years older than Jessica. At any age, a child can give consent to sexual contact with another person who is within three years of age.
Sexual Assault (Statutory Rape) and Sexual Consent in Arapahoe County
Though some “young lovers” can consent to a sexual relationship in Arapahoe and Adams County, someone 18 or older cannot have sex with a minor more than four years younger. A prohibited minor would be someone more than four years apart. This would be sexual assault. Sexual Assault, C.R.S. 18-3-402, is always charged when someone knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim without consent. When the victim gives consent, age becomes relevant. The four year age difference is our bright line rule. A child who is fourteen years and six months old can consent to sexual contact with her adult boyfriend who is eighteen years and five months old. Sexual Assault can also be charged if the victim is at least fifteen years old but less than seventeen and the defendant is at least ten years older than the victim and isn't the victim's spouse. There are many other circumstances where Sexual Assault is charged in Colorado. For more on the law on Sexual Assault, visit our Sexual Assault / Rape content page.[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”100%”]If facing Sexual Assault charges, contact a sex crimes lawyer immediately.[/pullquote]
Colorado Law is Merciless Against Sex Crimes Committed by a Juvenile
Sarah and her boyfriend are lucky. If Adam was just a year older, he would be facing charges. He would face charges of Sexual Assault on a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-405, even if his relationship with Jessica was consensual. Throughout Colorado, young kids are engaged in unlawful sexual relationships, not knowing the consequences. It's devastating to see young kids get punished when their sexual relationships are consensual. It's also tough when a teen has unlawful sex with someone, not knowing an age. Read one of my other blogs: a 19-year-old faces charges after having sex with a 14-year-old girl. There, the young man thought the girl was 17 years old, because that's what she told him. She wasn't. Yet, the law is still merciless when it comes to sexual crimes. If your child is facing charges for any sex crime in Denver, Jefferson or El Paso County, don't wait to call us. We vow to fight hard on your child's behalf to protect their future. Contact one of our expert sex crimes lawyers today.Request a Free Consultation