May 18, 2010

Sexual Assault Cases - Colorado Statutory Authority

by Allen C. Gasper
Senior Partner
The Gasper Law Group

Unlawful Sexual Behavior is found in Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-3-401 and following. It is important to understand several definitions that are included in the Statutes:

1. “Consent” means cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. A current or previous relationship shall not be sufficient to constitute consent under the provisions of this Part 4. Submission under the influence of fear shall not constitute consent. Nothing in this definition shall be construed to affect the admissibility of evidence or the burden of proof in regard to the issue of consent under this Part 4.

2. “Intimate Parts” means the external genitalia or the pernium or the anus or the buttocks or the pubes or the breast of any person.

3. “Pattern of Sexual Abuse” means the commission of two or more incidents of sexual contact involving a child when such offenses are committed by an actor upon the same victim.

4. “Physically Helpless” means unconscious, asleep or otherwise unable to indicate willingness to act.

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May 12, 2008

Incest: Sex Offense or Dumb Law?

By Caryn J. Adams, Attorney at Law
The Gasper Law Group

When I was in junior high school, my dad bought me a book of absurd laws that I absolutely loved and read cover to cover multiple times. I still love absurd laws. For example, did you know that detonating a nuclear device anywhere in the city of Chino, California is punishable by a $500 fine? Or that it is illegal to drive around the town square in Oxford, Mississippi, more than 100 times on a single occasion?

There are plenty of great websites for absurd laws. “Dumb Laws,” http://www.dumblaws.com/ , is a voluminous repository of the inane. The Young Turks have compiled a list of the 10 most absurd laws from around the world (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJda5OJep_8). My favorite find is the story of Luke Bateman and Richard Smith, two British college students who in 2005 decided to spend their summer road-tripping across the United States and breaking as many absurd laws along the way as they could. http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/buzz/archives/004397.html. No word on whether or not they actually did hire a boat and attempt to go whale hunting in Utah, but I wouldn’t expect them to confess to a felony anyway.

Of course, absurd laws aren’t so funny when they’re used to unfairly prosecute a client. In Colorado, incest is a class four felony punishable at the maximum by an indeterminate life sentence in prison. If the “child” involved is under the age of twenty-one, then the incest is considered “aggravated,” making it a class three felony. Now, I know that doesn’t sound so bad, and some of you are thinking, “Sure, any parent who commits incest should be locked up for a long time.” The problem is that “incest” includes natural children, adopted children, and step-children.


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