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The nuances between various sex crimes in Colorado

Defending yourself against a rape or sexual assault allegation can be daunting; even if you know you're innocent, having these accusations against you can seriously impact your life. You could see a distance grow between you and your friends or family, your employer may put you on probation or you could even lose your job. It's not fair to face this kind of damage to your reputation without just cause, which is why you should speak with your attorney as soon as possible to negate any negative impacts on your life.

There are several kinds of sex crimes you can be charged with, and their nuances make a difference in the kind of penalties you could face if convicted. For instance, sexual assault is when you knowingly sexually penetrate or intrude a part of a person's body. This is prohibited if you engage in sexual acts while claiming it's for medical treatment, if you make the victim submit against his or her will or if you misrepresent yourself as the victim's spouse. Sexual assault is not considered to be the same as unlawful sexual contact.

Unlawful sexual contact is different; it is defined as touching the victim's intimate parts or making the alleged victim touch the defendant's parts. Touching over clothing can still count as unlawful sexual conduct if it was for sexual arousal or gratification and the victim doesn't consent, understand what's happening, is unconscious or asleep, or is an inmate or patient who is under the defendant's control.

The differences between these two types of crimes may seem minor, but they can influence your case. Building a defense against them is key to your success in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado Rape and Sexual Assault Laws," accessed July 21, 2016

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