The #MeToo movement reached a zeitgeist a few years back, with many famous and influential people paying the social and legal price for their crimes and indiscretions. Nevertheless, more than just famous people get caught in this reckoning. Romantic partners, coworkers, students, and family members also may find themselves in the crosshairs.
So, it is essential that socially and sexually active people be clear about their intentions, understand the consequences if there is a misunderstanding, and seek consent before engaging in relations. This is key because the laws here in Colorado consider sex without permission a form of sexual assault or rape.
What is consent?
Consent involves serval conditions:
- It is freely agreed upon without coercion.
- It is valid if both individuals are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- They may also change their minds and withdraw consent.
- It is not a blanket agreement but specific to a particular act.
- Permission must be offered every time.
The stakes are high
Sexual assault and sex charges often have long-lasting consequences. Innocent or guilty, those charged with sexual assault often lose their job, get a professional accreditation revoked, and are passed over for future employment or education opportunities. While charges to a minor or misdemeanor charges will not go into Colorado’s Sex Offender Registry, many still find themselves hounded by the charge with notices sent to neighbors when they move into a community. It’s also worth noting that those facing sexual assault charges are assumed guilty by their community, friends and even family before resolving the case.
With all this in mind, it is essential for those facing charges to truthfully state that the relations were consensual, regardless of what the prosecution claims. An experienced criminal law attorney can also be invaluable in defending a client’s rights to protect their freedom, reputation and future.