The penalties for a sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact conviction are very severe. Unlawful sexual contact is a class 4 felony if the defendant compelled the victim by use of force, intimidation, or threat. Sexual assault ranges from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 2 felony depending on the violence of the situation and other aggravating or mitigating factors. As the aggravating factors increase, the fines and prison time a defendant will face also increase. A class 4 sexual assault felony carries 4-12 years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and mandatory parole. If the defendant forced the victim with physical force or violence or used a date rape drug, the defendant will be charged with a class 3 sexual assault felony that requires a sentence of 8-24 years in prison, even higher fines, and mandatory parole. If the defendant was helped by someone, the victim suffered serious physical injury, or the defendant was armed with a deadly weapon, he or she will be charged with a class 2 felony and will face 16-48 years in prison, up to $1 million in fines, and mandatory parole. Additionally, some more serious sex offenses are classified in an “indeterminate” sentencing range. These individuals may be kept in custody for the rest of their lives, even if they have served all of the time in their sentencing range.
Even if a sex offender is not sentenced to prison, there are a multitude of penalties the offender faces if they are sentenced to probation. One requirement is sex offender registration, which can last for many years depending on the offense charged. Sexual offense specific treatment is also something that should be expected with a probation term. This is intense therapy that the offender must complete in order to complete probation. Sex offenders are also monitored routinely through the use of polygraph testing. Even though polygraph testing is not admissible in court, it is a tool that sex offense probation officers use to make sure that the offender is not engaged in any prohibited activity while on probation. There are also restrictions on the offender being able to have contact with children under the age of 18, which include the offender's offspring. Computer and internet monitoring is common for a sex offender on probation.
Being convicted of a sex crime in Colorado will not only affect you in the years you serve in prison, but once you are released from prison. If convicted, you will be registered as a sex offender for the rest of your life. This is something you will have to tell your neighbors, friends, and future employers about. Convicted sex offenders will face serious prejudice, and your record will determine where you can live and work for the rest of your life.