Statutory Rape is a very serious charge with severe penalties. If you are 18 or older and you have sex with a minor (younger than 15), you have committed statutory rape. Even if the sex was consensual, you have broken the law. Clear and simple.
The word "statutory" means that a minor is not capable of giving informed consent to sex or sexual activities. The rationale behind Colorado's statutory rape laws is to protect minors from any form of sexual abuse and coercion into a sexual activity by an adult.
In Colorado, the age of consent is 17, which is the minimum age at which the individual has the legal ability to give consent to a sexual activity. Even if a 16 year old gives consent, the law doesn't recognize the consent as valid unless the individual is at least 17 years or older. Therefore, statutory rape is committed when an adult (18 or older) has sex with someone under 17.
The state of Colorado has an exemption known as the "Romeo and Juliet law", which was created to protect underage couples who engage in sexual intercourse from being prosecuted. Many factors have to be in place, including both individuals are very close in age and one or both are under the age of consent.
Colorado is one of the majority of states that does not recognize the "mistake of age" defense. It doesn't matter if the alleged victim lies about their age in the heat of the moment. This makes statutory rape in Colorado a "strict liability" crime, where the defendant assumes all risk of the victim's age.
There is a marital exemption for statutory rape, which states that married couples can have consensual sex even if there ages would prohibit it if they weren't married.
The main defenses to statutory rape are: - The alleged crime did not happen - Romeo and Juliet exception (see explanation above) - Mistake of age
Regardless of your particular circumstance, we will form an effective defense strategy for your case. We will fight for your freedom and rights. Call us today at 719-227-0230.