Colorado Sexual Abuse & Assault Laws
Colorado takes sexual assault, sexual assault on a child, statutory rape, and unlawful sexual contact very seriously. While these crimes vary from one another, the question of consent is at the center of every one of them. If a person did not consent to the sexual act or contact, then the person carrying out that nonconsensual act or contact is considered guilty of a sex crime.
Several examples of sexual abuse and assault include:
- Unwanted sexual contact, such as fondling, kissing, etc.
- Forced masturbation or oral copulation
- Sexual contact/acts achieved through violence, the threat of violence, or coercion
- Forced penetration using a body part or foreign object
- Sexual contact/acts with a person who cannot consent to or appraise the act
It is important to note that per law, persons under the age of consent or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs cannot consent to any sexual contact or act.
Seeking Justice After Abuse or Assault
Survivors have three legal options available to them: a criminal lawsuit, a civil lawsuit, or both.
A criminal lawsuit is achieved through filing a report with your local police department or district attorney. These authorities will be the ones to prosecute your abuser in criminal court. You will have the option to share your story by testifying in court, but this tends to be the extent of the survivor’s involvement in a criminal case. The point of a criminal case is for the state to hold abusers accountable in the interest of public safety; thus, a criminal case will end in either the abuser being convicted or acquitted.
A civil lawsuit offers you the opportunity to pursue your full and fair compensation for the losses, or damages, you suffered as a result of the abuse/assault. That said, you will need to be more involved in the civil case than you would in the criminal case, as you will either need to represent yourself in court or hire a sexual assault lawyer to advocate for you. If you win your civil case, you could recover monies for medical expenses, therapy bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, or any other damages you have incurred from the traumatic experience you went through.
What to Do After Being Sexually Assaulted
If you've been sexually assaulted in Colorado, it's crucial to take several steps to ensure your safety, well-being, and pursuit of justice. Here are the steps you should consider taking:
- Ensure Your Safety: If you're in immediate danger, call 911 or your local emergency services number. Find a safe place away from the perpetrator.
- Seek Medical Attention: It's essential to seek medical care as soon as possible, even if you don't have visible injuries. Medical professionals can treat any injuries, provide emergency contraception, test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and collect evidence for forensic examination. Most hospitals have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) trained to handle these cases sensitively.
- Preserve Evidence: Try to avoid bathing, showering, changing clothes, or washing any part of your body before seeking medical attention, as this could wash away crucial evidence. If possible, preserve any clothing worn during the assault in a paper bag (not plastic) and avoid touching or disturbing the crime scene.
- Report the Assault: You have the option to report the assault to law enforcement. You can contact your local police department or the county sheriff's office to file a report. Be prepared to provide as much detail as possible about the assault, including the perpetrator's description, location, and any other relevant information.
- Consider Support: Sexual assault can be traumatic, and it's essential to seek support from trusted friends, family members, or a counselor. You can also contact organizations such as the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) or local sexual assault hotlines for confidential support and resources.
- Consider Legal Options: You may want to explore your legal options, including both criminal and civil avenues. In the criminal process, the state prosecutes the perpetrator for violating criminal laws. In the civil process, you can pursue a lawsuit against the perpetrator for damages. Consider consulting with a qualified attorney who specializes in sexual assault cases to understand your rights and options.
- Cooperate with Law Enforcement: If you choose to report the assault to law enforcement, cooperate with investigators throughout the investigation process. This may involve providing statements, participating in lineups or identifications, and testifying in court if the case goes to trial.
- Follow Up on Medical Care: Continue to follow up with medical providers for any necessary follow-up care, such as STI testing, counseling, or additional medical treatment.
- Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights as a survivor of sexual assault. In Colorado, survivors have certain rights, including the right to have a victim advocate present during interviews and court proceedings.
Start the Healing Process with a Colorado Trial Lawyer
Taking the first step toward justice may seem intimidating or frighteningly impossible, but you do not have to go at it alone. At The Zalkin Law Firm, our notable work in holding abusers accountable has resulted in a track record of success and national acclaim. We will stand by your side at every step of the way because we genuinely care about you and your well-being. Put our years of experience on your side of the court.
Here are several reasons why you should hire us to represent you in a sexual assault lawsuit in Colorado:
- Expertise in Sexual Assault Cases: Our firm specializes in handling sexual assault cases, and we have extensive experience navigating the complexities of these sensitive legal matters. We understand the unique legal and emotional challenges that survivors face, and we are committed to advocating fiercely on your behalf.
- Legal Knowledge and Resources: We have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding sexual assault cases in Colorado. Our team of skilled attorneys is well-versed in relevant statutes, case law, and legal procedures. We will leverage our knowledge and resources to build a strong case and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
- Advocacy and Support: As your legal advocates, we will stand by your side every step of the way, providing compassionate support and guidance. We will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and keep you informed about the progress of your case. Our goal is to empower you to make informed decisions about your legal options and to ensure that your voice is heard throughout the legal process.
- Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your assault, gathering evidence to support your claims. This may include obtaining witness statements, medical records, police reports, and other relevant documentation. We will work diligently to build a compelling case that demonstrates the full extent of the harm you have suffered.
- Negotiation and Settlement: In many cases, sexual assault lawsuits are resolved through negotiation and settlement outside of court. We are skilled negotiators who will aggressively advocate for a fair and just settlement on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable and to secure the maximum compensation available under the law.
- Litigation Representation: If your case proceeds to trial, we are prepared to provide vigorous representation in the courtroom. Our trial attorneys are seasoned litigators with a track record of success in complex legal proceedings. We will present your case with professionalism, skill, and dedication, seeking to achieve a favorable outcome for you.
- Emotional Support and Empowerment: Beyond our legal expertise, we are committed to providing you with emotional support and empowerment throughout the legal process. We understand the trauma and stigma associated with sexual assault, and we will create a safe and supportive environment where you can feel heard, respected, and empowered to seek justice.
Call (800) 477-2989 to speak with a Colorado sexual abuse and assault attorney in a free consultation. Everything discussed in your consultation will be held strictly confidential, and there is zero obligation to move forward with our firm.