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Unlawful Sexual Contact – C.R.S. 18-3-404

Learn about Unlawful Sexual Contact charges in Colorado.

Unlawful Sexual Contact is often charged in Denver, Adams, and Jefferson County, and across Colorado. This misdemeanor sexual offense isn’t difficult to commit, but it carries long-term consequences such as sex offender registration and mandatory sex offender treatment. Let’s take a look at exactly how it is charged, and why you need the knowledge and expertise of a hard-hitting criminal defense lawyer when you go to court.

What is Unlawful Sexual Contact?

Unlawful Sexual Contact – C.R.S. 18-3-404, is charged whenever someone subjects another person to sexual contact without their consent, or knowing that the other person is unable to consent, due to mental ability, or while impaired by alcohol. The law is vague and can be applied in many different ways, which is why it is easily charged throughout Arapahoe, El Paso, and Douglas County.

“Sexual Contact” and “Intimate Parts” are Vague Terms

The main difference between Unlawful Sexual Contact and Sexual Assault charges is the type of sexual contact. Sexual Assault charges require that penetration occurred, while with Unlawful Sexual Contact, only touching is needed. And, that touching doesn’t even have to be all that sexual. The definition for “sexual contact” can be found under C.R.S. 18-3-401 (4):

“Sexual Contact”

“‘Sexual contact’ means the knowing touching of the victim’s intimate parts by the actor, or of the actor’s intimate parts by the victim, or the knowing touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts if that sexual contact is for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.”

As you can see, this definition is extremely vague. Even touching the clothing covering someone’s intimate parts, if done for a sexual purpose, is considered to be Unlawful Sexual Contact. Next, it is important to understand what is meant by “intimate parts.” This definition can be found under the same statute – C.R.S. 18-3-401 (2):

“Intimate Parts”

“‘Intimate parts’ means the external genitalia or the perineum or the anus or the buttocks or the pubes or the breasts of any person.”

In other words, slapping or pinching someone’s clothed butt could result in an Unlawful Sexual Contact charge in Colorado. As you can see, this crime is extremely broad, and can be charged in many different situations.

What is the Sentence for Unlawful Sexual Contact?

The sentence for Unlawful Sexual Contact varies on the circumstances of the offense. Unlawful Sexual Contact is usually charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. But, it is considered to be an extraordinary risk crime which carries a harsher sentence of up to 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. In some situations, however, Unlawful Sexual Contact is a felony offense. A person will be charged with a class 4 felony if any of the following were aspects in their case:

1.If the use of force, intimidation, or threats were used to compel the alleged victim to submit to the sexual contact.

2.If the offense involved a child (under 18) being coerced to expose themselves, have sex with another person, or submit to sexual contact.

This misdemeanor offense has long-term consequences. It’s important to work with a lawyer if you’ve been charged.

Unlawful Sexual Contact is a Sex Offense

Perhaps the biggest consequence of an Unlawful Sexual Contact conviction in Pitkin, Gilpin, and Boulder County, is that it is a sexual offense. This means that a person convicted of this sex crime will be required to:

Sex Offender Treatment

Undergo sex offender treatment overseen by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). This treatment is harsh and one-size-fits-all, and there is a shortage of treatment providers.

Sex Offender Registration

Register as a sex offender. Sex offender registration is tedious, and has many restrictions. It can have negative effects on your ability to keep or get a job, or finding housing in the Denver area.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges

If you’ve been contacted by Denver, Aurora, or Centennial police regarding Unlawful Sexual Contact charges, contact an aggressive sex crimes defense attorney immediately. Don’t speak to the police; doing so will always hurt your case. The police are gathering evidence against you, and often twist people’s words and use things said in passing against them. Instead of providing your statement to the police, tell them you wish to speak with your lawyer first. Then, contact a skilled criminal lawyer at our office to fight on your side. It’s not difficult to be charged with Unlawful Sexual Contact; we have seen many cases where men were charged after a night out at a club; simply touching a woman’s butt while on the dance floor can end in an Unlawful Sexual Contact conviction. Don’t plead guilty to avoid jail time. Instead, fight the charges against you and protect your future. Here at the O’Malley Law Office, our lawyers have 40 years of combined courtroom experience we can utilize to make sure you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one has been charged with Unlawful Sexual Contact, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O’Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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Colorado Unlawful Sexual Contact Statute – C.R.S. 18-3-404

“Any actor who knowingly subjects a victim to any sexual contact commits unlawful sexual contact if:

(a) The actor knows that the victim does not consent; or

(b) The actor knows that the victim is incapable of appraising the nature of the victim’s conduct; or

(c) The victim is physically helpless and the victim has not consented; or

(d) The actor has substantially impaired the victim’s power to appraise or control the victim’s conduct by employing, without the victim’s consent, any drug, intoxicant, or other means for the purpose of causing submission; or

(e) Repealed.

(f) The victim is in custody of law or detained in a hospital or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim and uses this position of authority, unless incident to a lawful search, to coerce the victim to submit; or

(g) The actor engages in treatment or examination of a victim for other than bona fide medical purposes or in a manner substantially inconsistent with reasonable medical practices.

(1.5) Any person who knowingly, with or without sexual contact, induces or coerces a child by any of the means set forth in section 18-3-402 to expose intimate parts or to engage in any sexual contact, intrusion, or penetration with another person, for the purpose of the actor’s own sexual gratification, commits unlawful sexual contact. For the purposes of this subsection (1.5), the term “child” means any person under the age of eighteen years.”