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Sexual Assault (10-year age difference) C.R.S. 18-3-402(1)(d)


A defendant commits the crime of sexual assault (10-year age difference) if he has sex with someone who is between the ages of 15 and 17 who is also at least 10 years older than that person.

To prove that a defendant committed the criminal offense of sexual assault, 10-year age difference, the prosecutor must prove each of these elements:

  1. The victim was between 15 and 17 years old.
  2. The defendant was 10 years older than the victim.
  3. The defendant sexually penetrated, or sexually intruded upon, the victim.
  4. The defendant was not married to the victim when the penetration or intrusion occurred.

In short, the sexual assault (10-year age difference) statute makes it a crime for two people to have sex if they are not married, one of them is between 15 and 17 years old, and one of them is at least ten years older than the other.

Examples of Sexual Assault (10-Year Age Difference)

Example 1

Several 16 years-old high school girls get fake IDs and go to a club to drink and dance.  While at the bar, one of the girls meets a 27-year-old construction worker.  They end up going to the construction worker’s house to have sex.  The girl’s parents find out she had sex with the construction worker and call the police.

Example 2

A 27-year-old gets a job working as an assistant high school volleyball coach.  His volleyball team travels on a bus to play against a rival school.  While they are travelling back from the game, the 27-year-old coach sits next to a 16-year-old player on the bus.  The 16-year-old starts touching the coach’s arms and and the coach believes she is flirting with him.  Because it was late at night and the bus was dark, the coach touched the 16-year-old’s vagina.  When they get back to their own high school, the 16-year-old goes home.  She eventually tells her friends she hooked up with the coach, one of her friends tells her parents, and one of the parents calls the cops.

Defenses to Sexual Assault (10-Year Age Difference)

Marriage is a defense to sexual assault (10-year Age Difference).  It is not a crime for a husband to have sex with his wife even if he is ten years older than her and she is between the ages of 15 and 17.

Criminal Penalties for Sexual Assault (10-Year Age Difference)

Sexual Assault (10-Year Age Difference) is a felony in the State of Colorado.  It carries an indeterminate sentence.  The possible penalties for felony sexual assault (10-year age difference) can be a sentence to the Department of Corrections from a minimum of two years up to a maximum of the rest of a defendant’s life.  Additionally, a person convicted of sexual assault will be required to register as a sex offender and be placed on a sex offender registry.  Judges and prosecutors do not like sex assault charges.  It is one of those offenses that presents a high risk of actual prison time even for first offense.  This is especially true for cases involving a victim who is ten years younger than the defendant.