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Colorado Springs charter school teacher charged with sex crimes

On April 21, a 40-year-old male teacher was arrested and booked on suspicion of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust. The teacher, who is from the Ambassador Academy charter school, was the subject of an investigation that started on April 20.

The school is for students from kindergarten to 12th grade; it is not known how old the alleged victim may be in this case. Police are still investigating the case, too.

Colorado doesn't divide sex crimes by level or degree anymore. Instead, the crimes are divided into sexual contact or sexual assault based on whether or not there was any penetration or touching of the genitals. There are also aggravating factors that can increase penalties if someone is convicted of the crime.

The crime of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust is detailed in C.R.S. 18-03-405.3. This statute defines a position of trust could be a parent, a babysitter or a teacher, as well as many others. If the child is between the ages of 15 and 18, then the charge is a class 4 felony. If the child is under the age of 15, then the charge is a class 3 felony. If the child is considered an at-risk juvenile who is under the age of 15, then the charge is a class 2 felony. If the child is an at-risk juvenile who is between the ages of 15 and 18, then the charge is a class 3 felony.

Charges such as these require swift action on the part of the defendant and his or her attorney. A defense strategy must be developed and presented to the court. The penalties are substantial, including prison time, fines, probation, parole and inclusion on the state's sex offender registry.

Source: The Denver Post, "Colorado Springs teacher suspected of sex assault of student," Kieran Nicholson, April 19, 2016

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