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“Date Rape” Part I of II – Colorado Sexual Assault Cases

by Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer for the defense of Colorado Sex Crime Cases such as an alleged Date Rape – H. Michael Steinberg

The formal charge of sexual assault in Colorado is sometime characterized on the street as “Date Rape.”

Relevance of Prior Sexual Relationship

This specific allegation means an act of sexual assault in which the victim has a casual or pre existing relationship with the offender such as a dating relationship. The fact that the accused has had a prior sexual relationship with the alleged victim does not mean that you cannot still be accused of date rape if the victim says that there was non consensual sex on even one occasion.

It is also mistakenly believed that Colorado Law Enforcement will not investigate an allegation of “date rape” where there has been a prior sexual relationship OR that they cannot be convicted if there is no DNA evidence or other evidence corroborating the victim’s accusation.

He Said -She Said Cases Are Prosecuted Every Day Of The Week Across The Country

This is not true. You can be convicted when the only evidence is the victim’s word.

The Defense of Date Rape Cases In Colorado

To defend a Colorado rape case the lawyer must understand all of the circumstances of the relationship. A detailed second by second – minute by minute account may be necessary to understand whether the law has actually been violated.

The Role Of “Crossed Signals”

Most often there is a misreading of signals, and the benefit of the doubt should be given to the accused. Most jurors who serve on juries have been in multiple sexual and intimate situations and they understand mixed signals.

The defense will try to show that the woman involved gave off the signals of a willing participant. For example witnesses may have seen her drinking earlier and her provocative conduct at that time.  This kind of evidence can provide a solid foundation for the defense that the defendant thought she was desirous of consensual sex.

Rape Shield Laws In Colorado

Colorado – like most states, have “rape shield” laws which go far in protecting the history of the alleged victim… however, the Colorado criminal defense lawyer should still find out as much as s/he can about the alleged victim’s history. The law allows the accused to be able to defend yourself and a good lawyer can usually find admissible evidence that sheds light on the true  character on the alleged victim.

The Defendant’s Predisposition For Sexual and Other Violence

The defendant’s character for not being sexually aggressive can be important. It is admissible evidence to show that you are not sexually aggressive. Prior girlfriends, female friends and co-workers, and friendly ex-spouses can be a good source for this evidence.

Medical Evidence In Colorado Sex Crime Cases

The Colorado criminal defense lawyer must be prepared to contest the medical evidence if the alleged victim was taken to – or voluntarily went to a hospital or clinic where a special ” sexual assault response team” takes over. The evidenciary trend in Colorado is for these medical personnel to testify that the alleged victims had physical injury to their vaginal area.

Microscopic Abrasions – What Do They Mean?

What is usually found in these cases are microscopic abrasions that are a result of the friction of intercourse. Sometimes the prosecution’s medical personnel try to say these micro-abrasions are inconsistent with consensual sex, however, research shows that micro-abrasions don’t necessarily mean anything negative. They are as consistent with consensual sex as well as anything else.

The Colorado sex crimes lawyer  must be prepared to cross-examine these alleged experts aggressively and to have at least consulted – if not retained a “counter-expert” ready to testify to the opposite of the prosecution’s expert.

Not Just The Young Are Charged In These Cases

Date rape accusations aren’t limited to only young people. It happens throughout the age spectrum where single men go out with women of questionable stability.  If an accusation comes out of a relationship breakup, the mental history of the alleged victim becomes relevant. Many times young men fall in love with young women of questionable mental health – ofen hidden from view.

Handling Rejections And Breakups – Mental Health Issues

A symptom of certain personality disorders seen in young women are the inability to handle rejection. The love hate syndrome is real. A person they once idealized can quickly become the  target of hate. .. and subject the innocent to false accusations of rape. Colorado does not permit the court ordered psychological evaluation of the alleged victim…but an attempt to investigate the alleged victim’s history should still be attempted… utililizing a retained psychologist to guide investigation. Prior instances of credibility problems on the part of the alleged victim…including a close examination of her job history and former boyfriends may lead to a history of lying and deception.

Determining The Motive To Cry Rape

While not required as an element of the charge of sexual assault – the criminal defense lawyer should find the motive of the alleged victim to lie. While cases of false accusations can be still be defended successfully without figuring out the motive, the lawyer should still launch an aggressive effort to “find the motive.” It may be the key to the jury understanding why the young lady would go so far as to make such a serious false accusation of rape against the accused.

The Mere Accusation Of Rape Changes Lives Forever

If you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime, the mere accusation of the crime can have a devastating effect on your life, including serious harm to ones reputation, career and personal relationships. A sex crime conviction can follow the accused for the rest of their lives.

If convicted, the punishments can be devastating – in Colorado it means life in prison – an indeterminate sentence or a minimum of lifetime probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender/

Regardless of the severity or circumstances of your offense, your sex offender registration becomes public record, and your neighbors and employers will be able to see this identification indefinitely.

Please Call Us

To discuss your sexual assault case right now (if this is urgent) with H. Michael Steinberg – personally  please call his cell (720) 220-2277 or fill out the Contact form on this site. From our office in Denver, Colorado, we represent clients throughout the Front Range of the State of Colorado

H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 29 years. For the First 13 years, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County DA – career prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations.

Again – if you feel the need to discuss your case right now with H. Michael please call his cell (720) 220-2277, otherwise call his office during normal business hours, or fill out the Contact form on this site. From our office in Denver, Colorado, he represent clients throughout the Front Range of the State of Colorado.


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
DTC Quadrant Building
5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
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Cell:  720.220.2277
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