What is the Age of Consent in Colorado?

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Romeo and Juliet Law in Colorado

Colorado law statute §18-3-402, C.R.S., the “Romeo and Juliet law” or “close-in-age exemption", states that minors under 14 are allowed to have consensual sex with partners less than 4 years older. Additionally, those over 14 years old may have sex with partners less than 10 years older.

For example, the close-in-age exemption would allow a 15-year-old to have consensual sex with a 24-year-old. On the other hand, it is illegal for a 16-year-old to have sex with someone who is 26 or older. A 14-year-old could consent to sexual acts with someone who is 17-years-of-age or younger.

Age of Consent Violations

Each state has its own laws regarding the “age of consent,” which refers to the age that someone can legally consent to sex. While state laws vary, the age of consent is typically 16, 17, or 18. Here in Colorado, the age of sexual consent is 17-years old.

If someone were to violate Colorado’s age of consent laws, he or she could be charged with sexual assault. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. If someone has sex with a minor who is under 15-years-of-age and he or she is at least four years older, the offender is guilty of a Class 4 felony under Section 18-3-402(1)(d), C.R.S.
  2. If someone is at least 10 years older than a 15 or 16-year-old minor, he or she is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor under Section 18-3-402(1)(e), C.R.S.
  3. If someone is in a position of trust, such as a teacher or church member and he or she has sex with a minor who is 14 or younger, or 15 or 16, he or she commits a Class 3 or 4 felony respectively under Section 18-3-405.3, C.R.S.
  4. Enticing a child is a Class 4 felony – this is where someone invites or persuades a child under the age of 15 to meet them with the intent of having sexual contact or intercourse with the minor.
  5. Internet luring a child under the age of 15 is a Class 5 felony and self-explanatory.

Looking for a Denver criminal defense lawyer to defend you against criminal charges? Contact my firm at once for a consultation.

Related: What Are Collateral Consequences?