August 21, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant May Be in a Position of Trust, Even if Not Performing Supervisory Task at Time of Unlawful Contact

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Pellman II v. People on June 6, 2011.

Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust—Supervisory Relationship.

The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ holding that there was sufficient evidence that defendant was in a position of trust when he had unlawful sexual contact with the child victim. According to CRS § 18-3-410(3.5), a person in a position of trust is “any person who is a parent or acting in the place of a parent and charged with any of the parent’s rights, duties, or responsibilities concerning the child . . . or a person who is charged with any duty or responsibility . . . no matter how brief, at the time of the unlawful act.” A defendant may be in a position of trust through an ongoing and continuous supervisory relationship with the victim, regardless of whether the defendant was performing a specific supervisory task at the time of the unlawful contact. Here, there is sufficient evidence that defendant had a supervisory relationship with the child at the time of the unlawful sexual contact.

Summary and full case available here.

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