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C.R.S. § 18-3-405.5. Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist

(1)(a) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual penetration or sexual intrusion on a victim commits aggravated sexual assault on a client if:

(I) The actor is a psychotherapist and the victim is a client of the psychotherapist; or

(II) The actor is a psychotherapist and the victim is a client and the sexual penetration or intrusion occurred by means of therapeutic deception.

(b) Aggravated sexual assault on a client is a class 4 felony.

(2)(a) Any actor who knowingly subjects a victim to any sexual contact commits sexual assault on a client if:

(I) The actor is a psychotherapist and the victim is a client of the psychotherapist; or

(II) The actor is a psychotherapist and the victim is a client and the sexual contact occurred by means of therapeutic deception.

(b) Sexual assault on a client is a class 1 misdemeanor.

(3) Consent by the client to the sexual penetration, intrusion, or contact shall not constitute a defense to such offense.

(4) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Client” means a person who seeks or receives psychotherapy from a psychotherapist.

(b) “Psychotherapist” means any person who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy, whether the person is licensed or registered by the state pursuant to title 12, C.R.S., or certified by the state pursuant to part 5 of article 1 of title 25, C.R.S.

(c) “Psychotherapy” means the treatment, diagnosis, or counseling in a professional relationship to assist individuals or groups to alleviate mental disorders, understand unconscious or conscious motivation, resolve emotional, relationship, or attitudinal conflicts, or modify behaviors which interfere with effective emotional, social, or intellectual functioning.

(d) “Therapeutic deception” means a representation by a psychotherapist that sexual contact, penetration, or intrusion by the psychotherapist is consistent with or part of the client’s treatment.

Cite as C.R.S § 18-3-405.5

History. L. 88: Entire section added, p. 726, § 1, effective July 1. L. 89: (3) amended, p. 831, § 42, effective July 1. L. 2011: IP(4) and (4)(b) amended, (SB 11-187), ch. 285, p. 1327, § 69, effective July 1.

ANNOTATION

Section is not unconstitutionally overbroad. Neither the treating psychotherapist nor the psychotherapy client has a fundamental constitutional right to engage in sexual intercourse with each other during the existence of the psychotherapist-client relationship. Ferguson v. People, 824 P.2d 803 (Colo. 1992).

Although consent is eliminated as a defense, prosecution must still prove mental culpability of the crime. Crime is not a strict liability offense. Ferguson v. People, 824 P.2d 803 (Colo. 1992).


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
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