Contact Us
    CONTACT US

    Please use the contact form to send us an email - and receive a response within 12 hours.

    Emergency? Call 720-220-2277 (24/7)








Map To Our Office
Read Out Blog
Case Evaluation
Charged With A Crime?

Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault Laws

 

Sexual Harassment - Sexual Assault Laws

Sexual Harassment & Sexual Assault Laws

 

By Colorado Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault Laws in Colorado are very different. However they are often confused. This article addresses the differences between the terms as Colorado sees them.

There are many forms of the Colorado crime of sexual assault. But what follows is Colorado’s PRIMARY sexual assault law:

Unlawful Sexual Contact Colorado 18-3-404

 18-3-404. Unlawful sexual contact 

(1) 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 actor knows that 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

(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.

(2)  (a) Unlawful sexual contact is a class 1 misdemeanor and is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in section  18-1.3-501(3).

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), unlawful sexual contact is a class 4 felony if the actor compels the victim to submit by use of such force, intimidation, or threat as specified in section  18-3-402(4) (a), (4) (b), or (4) (c) or if the actor engages in the conduct described in paragraph (g) of subsection (1) of this section or subsection (1.5) of this section.

(3) If a defendant is convicted of the class 4 felony of unlawful sexual contact pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section, the court shall sentence the defendant in accordance with the provisions of section  18-1.3-406; except that this subsection (3) shall not apply if the actor engages in the conduct described in paragraph (g) of subsection (1) of this section. 

Harassment 18 - 9 - 111

 

On the other hand – Colorado’s harassment law is found at 18-9-111 – as follows:

§ 18-9-111.   Harassment 

(1) A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:

(a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or

(b) In a public place directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person;

or

( c ) Follows a person in or about a public place; or

….

(e) Initiates communication with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telephone network, data network, text message, instant message, computer, computer network, or computer system in a manner intended to harass or threaten bodily injury or property damage, or makes any comment, request, suggestion, or proposal by telephone, computer, computer network, or computer system that is obscene; or

(f) Makes a telephone call or causes a telephone to ring repeatedly, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate conversation; or

(g) Makes repeated communications at inconvenient hours that invade the privacy of another and interfere in the use and enjoyment of another’s home or private residence or other private property;

or

(h) Repeatedly insults, taunts, challenges, or makes communications in offensively coarse language to, another in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response.

(1.5) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “obscene” means a patently offensive description of ultimate sexual acts or solicitation to commit ultimate sexual acts, whether or not said ultimate sexual acts are normal or perverted, actual or simulated, including masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, or excretory functions.

(2) Harassment pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is a class 3 misdemeanor; except that harassment is a class 1 misdemeanor if the offender commits harassment pursuant to subsection (1) of this section with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin.

(3) Any act prohibited by paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section may be deemed to have occurred or to have been committed at the place at which the telephone call, electronic mail, or other electronic communication was either made or received.

Sexual Harassment - Civil

 

And finally – a civil – not criminal – action for sexual harassment is found at 24-34-402 as follows:

§ 24-34-402.   Discriminatory or unfair employment practices 

(1) It shall be a discriminatory or unfair employment practice:

(a) For an employer to refuse to hire, to discharge, to promote or demote, to harass during the course of employment, or to discriminate in matters of compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against any person otherwise qualified because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, or ancestry; but, with regard to a disability, it is not a discriminatory or an unfair employment practice for an employer to act as provided in this paragraph (a) if there is no reasonable accommodation that the employer can make with regard to the disability, the disability actually disqualifies the person from the job, and the disability has a significant impact on the job. For purposes of this paragraph (a),

…”harass” means to create a hostile work environment based upon an individual’s race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph (a), harassment is not an illegal act unless a complaint is filed with the appropriate authority at the complainant’s workplace and such authority fails to initiate a reasonable investigation of a complaint and take prompt remedial action if appropriate. 

Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault Laws

………………So Where Does Sexual Harassment Fit In?

An understanding of sexual harassment – also known as non-criminal sexual misconduct as a term of art is a broad term that encompasses any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature that is committed by force or intimidation, or that is otherwise unwelcome.

But the criminal law – draws some important distinctions. There is NO CRIME in Colorado tthat defines what is commonly u

While Sexual harassment is NOT a recognized Colorado crime, it is a form of discrimination that consists of and can include “unwelcome behavior” (verbal, written, physical) that is directed at someone because of that person’s sex or gender.

Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault Laws – Sexual Harassment

(In college) …it can mean pressure to engage in sexual behavior to further the student’s education or employment or the “real or perceived threat that rejecting the behavior would carry a negative consequence for the student.”

Hostile Environment

Or it can include behavior creates a hostile, intimidating or demeaning environment that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive to substantially interfere with or deny participation in employment opportunities.

Cyber Bullying

It can also include: bullying / cyber-bullying of a sexual nature or for a sexual purpose;, the unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities; or unwanted sexual attention; or repeated and unwelcome sexually-oriented teasing,

The What Is The Difference? Where Is The Line Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault as a crime is basically defined as ..

 ….an extreme form of sexual misconduct and represents a broad view of physical conduct  In Colorado, the terms “rape” is no longer accepted  – sexual assault includes any sex act done by force or against the will of another.

Non-consensual sexual assault includes but is not limited to the following behaviors when consent is not present:

• Sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral)

• Oral sex

• Attempted sexual assault

• Penetration of an orifice (anal, vaginal, oral) with the penis, finger, or other object

• Unwanted touching of the genitals, buttocks, breast, or other body part

•Coercion or force to make someone else touch one’s genitals, buttocks, breast, or other body part

•Inducing consent through drugs or alcohol

•Engaging in sexual activity with a person who is unable to provide consent due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other condition

Under Colorado law the following victims are INCAPABLE OF GIVING CONSENT:

• Persons who are asleep or unconscious

• Persons who are incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication

• Persons who are unable to communicate consent due to a mental or physical condition

• Minors under the age of 15 AGE OF CONSENT

Acquaintance or “Date rape” LINK  is another common term used to describe a form of Colorado sexual assault.

Sexual assault, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, includes “when someone touches any part of another person’s body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person’s consent.”

Again – Comparing Sexual Harassment….

Both men and women can become the targets of sexual harassment. It can occur between persons of the same gender. Sexual harassment may be intentional or accidental, subtle or obvious.

Sexual harassment as defined under Colorado law and under the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, includes “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” that “affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

Sexual Assault IS:

Physical contact, like grabbing, pinching, touching your breast or buttocks – intimate body parts.

A quick kissing you against your will is PROBABLY NOT sexual assault;

Sexual Harassment IS:

Sexual comments, like name-calling (slut, whore, fag), starting rumors about you, making sexual jokes at your expense, or making sexual gestures at or about you.

It IS: Sexual propositions, like asking you for sex or repeatedly asking you out when you have said no; 

So Called “Basic Harassment” IS:

Repeated and unwanted communication, such as multiple phone calls, text messages, letters, or e-mails.

These are only some examples; there are probably many other forms of behavior that are not included – but may still can be considered sexual harassment.

Certain behaviors that are sometimes part of a pattern of sexual harassment are, in fact, crimes- such as Stalking.

Also sexual Assault may “cross over” into “basic” harassment when .. the actions include threats, and “basic” non – sexual assaults (such as a push, shove, punch, or kicks). Finally there is an enhanced felony form of harassment in Colorado called the crime of Stalking LINK.

If you are the victim of sexual harassment – may I refer you to the excellent firm of  Cross Liechty Lane PC.

Please call our law firm if you have questions about ..

Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault Laws

H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years (as of 2012). For the first 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior  prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.

In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the criminal trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations.  Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2277. 

In the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.

H. Michael’s Primary Territory:

The Colorado Steinberg Criminal Defense Law Firm serves clients charged with criminal offenses in the Denver Metro Region and throughout Colorado, including Adams County, Arapaho County, Boulder County, Bloomfield County, Denver County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, El Paso County, Pueblo County, Weld County and Grand County; and communities such as ; Centennial, Denver, Boulder, Aurora, Lakewood, Littleton, Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn, Brighton, Greenwood Village, DTC, Denver Tech Center, Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Englewood, Golden, Grand Junction and all across the Front Range.

If you have questions about Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault Laws in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and will provide quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado with adult and juvenile criminal matters as regards .Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault Laws.


Other Articles of Interest:

If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
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
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
DTC Quadrant Building
5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
Colorado Criminal Law Blog:  www.Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com
Main:  303.627.7777
Cell:  720.220.2277
24/7 Pager:  303.543.4433
FAX (Toll Free):  1.877.533.6276
Always investigate a lawyer's qualifications and experience before making a
decision to retain that lawyer or, for that matter, any professional ...in any field.