Colorado Age of Consent Laws 2023
What is the Colorado Age of Consent?
The Colorado Age of Consent is 17 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 16 or younger in Colorado are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Colorado statutory rape law is violated when an individual has sexual intercourse with an individual under age 17. Close in age exemptions exist allowing 16 and 17 year olds to engage in sexual intercourse with partners who are less than 10 years older, and minors younger than 15 to engage in sexual congress with those less than 4 years older. Defenses exist if the victim and perpetrator are married (common law marriages are not applicable). Although the age of consent is 17, child prostitution laws extend to those 18 and under.
Colorado has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemption, also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.
Depending on the situation, the Colorado close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.
The age of consent in Colorado is based on the following statutes from the Colorado criminal code:
Colorado Age Of Consent Law: C.R.S. 18-3-402(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if: ... (d) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or (e) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen years of age and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim;
Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in Colorado
Colorado has six statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Colorado Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Colorado equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.
|Internet sexual exploitation of a child||Class 4 felony||1-12 years in prison and/or a $2000-$500,000 fine.|
|Procurement of a child for sexual exploitation||Class 3 felony||2-24 years in prison and/or a $3000-$750,000 fine.|
|Sexual assault||Class 1 misdemeanor; Class 4 felony||6-18 month sentence; $500-5,000 fine; 2 to 6 years in prison|
|Sexual Assault on a child||Class 3 felony; Class 4 felony||2-24 years in prison and/or a $3000-$750,000 fine.; 1-12 years in prison and/or a $2000-$500,000 fine.|
|Sexual Assault on a child; in position of trust||Class 3 felony; Class 4 felony||2-24 years in prison and/or a $3000-$750,000 fine.; 1-12 years in prison and/or a $2000-$500,000 fine.|
|Sexual exploitation of a child||Class 3 felony; Class 4 felony; Class 6 felony||2-24 years in prison and/or a $3000-$750,000 fine.; 1-12 years in prison and/or a $2000-$500,000 fine.; 1 year to 18 months in prison and/or a $1000-$100.000 fine.|