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    Colorado Spousal Rape Laws

    Colorado Domestic Violence Cases: Spousal Rape

    Until 1976, marital rape was legal in every state in the United States. Although marital rape is now a crime in all 50 states in the U.S., some states still don’t consider it as serious as other forms of rape. The only states that have laws that make no distinction between marital rape and stranger rape are Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. These states have no marital rape exemptions

    “Spousal rape” not only falls under the umbrella of Colorado’s rape laws but under Colorado’s s domestic violence laws as well. This means that someone convicted of this offense is subject to many of the same penalties and punishments as (1) an individual convicted of Sexual Assault and (2) an individual convicted of domestic violence.

    Spousal Rape

    Marital rape takes place when a man or woman engages in an act of non-consensual sexual intercourse with his/her spouse.

    Many people don’t even realize that this is a crime…and the fact is that it wasn’t always. Now, however, Colorado’s sexual assault (rape) laws protect spouses from unwanted sexual intercourse in the same way that they protect all others.

    In the event that you engage in sex (or in any other sexual activity) against the will of your spouse with the specific intent to cause sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, you may additionally or alternatively face charges for sexual assault).

    How does the prosecutor prove that I am guilty of marital rape?

    In order to prove that you are guilty under Colorado’s spousal rape laws, the prosecutor must prove one of the crimes listed in the law below beyond a reasonable doubt – under the following laws:

    Unlawful Sexual Contact (18-3-404)

    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

    (e) Repealed.

    (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.

    (1.7) Any person who knowingly observes or takes a photograph of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent, in a situation where the person observed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, for the purpose of the observer’s own sexual gratification, commits unlawful sexual contact. For purposes of this subsection (1.7), “photograph” includes any photograph, motion picture, videotape, print, negative, slide, or other mechanically, electronically, or chemically reproduced visual material.

    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.

    Fighting a Spousal Rape Charge

    One spouse may falsely accuse the other of marital rape for a variety of reasons…jealousy, anger, revenge, or to gain leverage in a divorce or custody proceeding. Emotionally charged allegations like spousal rape require an extra thorough investigation to reveal the true motives behind the accusation.

    If you have additional questions about Colorado spousal rape charges, or you would like to discuss your case confidentially with a Colorado cirminal defense attorneys, we invite you to contact us.

    For the laws regarding Colorado Sex Crimes Sentencing click HERE. 

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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
    Colorado Criminal Law For Over 40 Years.
    The Edward Building
    8400 East Prentice Ave, Penthouse 1500
    Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
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