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Defenses exist if the victim and perpetrator are married (common law marriages are not applicable). 18-3-402(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if: ...

Although the age of consent is 17, child prostitution laws extend to those 18 and under. 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. (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; 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.

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. 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.

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Last modified 29-Jan-2020 08:48