In Denver and Jefferson County, there are certain occupations where people's jobs are to care for children on a daily basis. However, sometimes helping children can create unplanned sexual relationships. In Colorado, sexual relationships between an adult and a child will end in criminal charges. Criminal charges will also be filed if you witness abuse or sexual assault on a child within certain occupations, but you don't report the abuse. Let's read more about the requirements for reporting child abuse or neglect in Colorado for certain professions and look at an example of how criminal charges can be filed.
Colorado Child Abuse / Neglect Mandatory Reporting Requirements
In Denver and Adams County, and across Colorado, there are specific occupations where a person is required by law to report sexual assault on a child or child abuse / neglect. Some of these occupations include physical therapists, psychologists, pharmacists, and nurses. You can find a full list of these occupations on our Mandatory Reporting Requirements Regarding Children page. If someone in one of these occupations has “reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or who has observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect,” (C.R.S. 19-3-304), he /she must make a report. He / she must make an initial verbal report immediately, and a written report soon afterwards.
Here's an example of how a physical therapist may be charged for not reporting sexual assault on a child:
John and Kate own a physical therapy clinic in Littleton, Colorado. John worked with a 14-year-old girl for a couple of weeks, who was learning to walk again. Occasionally, during his sessions with the child, Kate came in to see how things were going. John told Kate things were progressing well and that the girl was fun to work with. However, on two separate occasions, Kate walked in on John caressing the child from behind and touching her inappropriately. This came as a complete shock to Kate, who had known John for years. Out of fear of hurting her relationship with John as well as her clinic, Kate didn't report the sexual assault right away. Unfortunately, in Douglas and Arapahoe County, and across Colorado, Kate could face criminal charges for not reporting the sexual assault / abuse.
Kate has to follow the mandatory reporting requirements because she's a physical therapist. See C.R.S. 19-3-304(2)(q). In Kate's case, she would have to report her observations of John subjecting the 14-year-old to sexual contact. If reported, John could face charges of Unlawful Sexual Contact, C.R.S. 18-3-404. If not reported, Kate could face a class 3 misdemeanor charge and face up to 6 months in the Douglas County Jail.
Why You Need the Best Denver Sex Crime Attorneys
Witnessing a sex crime like Sexual Assault on a Child, Unlawful Sexual Contact or Incest can be alarming in Colorado. And, some people may be too afraid to report a sex crime they witness. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges for failing to report child abuse / sexual assault or neglect to law enforcement or the child abuse reporting hotline system, contact one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers today.Request a Free Consultation