A “sex offense” is one of the most difficult problems one can face in the criminal justice system. No matter what happened, or how minor or misunderstood, just being a potentially accused sex offender carries personal difficulties and embarrassment, as well as often extremely serious legal problem.

Under Colorado law, many different types of offenses are categorized as sex crimes, or Unlawful Sexual Behavior. Generally, a sex crime involves coerced or illegal sexual conduct committed against another person. The laws on sex crimes vary depending on the state where they are committed. Persons convicted of sex crimes are called sex offenders and may have their names featured in federal and state offender registries.

Some common sex offenses include indecent exposure, internet luring of a child, sexual assault, and solicitation of prostitution. These crimes have different definitions depending on the state where they are committed. The sentencing requirements also vary by state. Read on for a definition of these crimes, the penalties applicable, and the common defenses according to Colorado Statutes.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure involves the intentional public exposure of a person’s private parts. A person can be charged with this offense for sexual conduct that causes alarm or affront to others. Some forms of indecent exposure include masturbation, urinating in public, flashing, having sexual intercourse in a vehicle, or mooning a person publicly.

Indecent exposure is categorized as a Class 6 felony if the offense is committed following two prior convictions for the same violation or for a violation of a similar offense in another state.

Under Colorado law, a Class 6 felony is the least serious felony offense, with a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison. The penalty may include incarceration, fines, probation, community service, or sexual offender registry.

But any felony conviction on your record can cause tremendous difficulty in your life. So as part of any Colorado Indecent Exposure charge, we always work to negotiate a felony conviction off the table, and

Internet Luring

Internet luring is when a person solicits a person who is below 15 years old through the internet. It is also known as enticement and happens when a person meets a minor in an online chat room, establishes a relationship with them, and invites the minor for a one on one meeting.

A person can be charged with internet luring for trying to convince a minor to meet with them even though the meeting does not take place.

The penalties for internet luring can include imprisonment, a long probation, and sexual registry. Internet luring of a child is a “Class 5” felony that subjects one to a maximum of 6 years in jail with the possibility of a 2 years parole period. Offenders are also likely to pay fines of amounting to $100,000.

Child Pornography

Possession or distribution of child pornography is a serious felony in Colorado, even if you are in possession of a sexually explicit picture of someone under 18 that is yourself.

Charges related to child pornography include:

  • Sexual exploitation of children (18-3-403)
  • Internet sexual exploitation of children (18-3-405.4)

Sexual Assault

According to Colorado law (Chapter 18-3-402) a person is guilty of sexual assault when they sexually penetrate another person, or perform sexual intrusion, without the person’s consent. Sexual assault occurs when the defendant:

  • Forces a person to submission against their will
  • Knows the victim does not comprehend the nature of their actions
  • Knows the victim consents mistakenly because they believe that the defendant is their spouse
  • Claims to provide medical service but engages to treat or examine the victim for other reasons and in a way that is inconsistent with standard medical practice

It is also sexual assault where the victim:

  • Is below 15 years and the defendant is 4 years older than them and is not the victim’s spouse
  • Is 15 years old but below 17 years, and the defendant is 10 years older than them and is not the victim’s spouse
  • Is detained in an institution such as a hospital where the defendant has authority over them and uses their position to compel the victim into submission
  • Is physically incapacitated and the defendant is aware of it

Sexual assault, in many cases, is a “Class 4” felony. This offense subjects one to between 2-6 years in prison, and a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000. Someone may be subjected to a different charge based on the severity of the offense.

Sexual assault is categorized as a “Class 1” misdemeanor, with a punishment of between 6-18 months in prison, for victims aged between 15 and 16 years, where the defendant is 10 years older and the two are not married.

Sexual assault is categorized as a “Class 3” felony, with a punishment of between 4-12 years in prison, for physically helpless victims, or where the defendant:

  • Was violent or forceful
  • Threatened future retaliation
  • Threatened serious bodily harm, pain, kidnapping, or death
  • Controlled the victim by impairing their senses using drugs or other intoxicants

Soliciting for Prostitution

A person is guilty of soliciting for prostitution when they:

  • Solicit another person for prostitution
  • Arranges a meeting or attempts to organize a meeting between persons for prostitution
  • Directs a person to a place that they know leads to prostitution

Prostitution is a “Class 3” misdemeanor under Colorado statutes and anyone convicted is subject to 6 months in prison.