May 19, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant Need Not be Expressly Charged with Responsibility Over Child to Occupy Position of Trust

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Roggow on Monday, December 9, 2013.

Criminal Acts Against Children—Status as to Child—Position of Trust.

The Supreme Court considered whether there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict a defendant of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, in violation of CRS § 18-3-405.3, where the defendant was not expressly charged with a particular duty or responsibility over the child at the time of the unlawful act. The Court held that for the purposes of § 18-3-405.3, a defendant need not be expressly charged with a particular duty or responsibility over the child at the time of the unlawful act to occupy a position of trust. Rather, a defendant may occupy a position of trust with respect to the victim where an existing relationship or other conduct or circumstances establishes that the defendant is entrusted with special access to the child victim.

The Court ruled that the evidence was sufficient for a jury to conclude that defendant was in a position of trust with respect to the victim at the time of the unlawful acts. Therefore, the holding of the court of appeals was reversed and the case was remanded with directions to reinstate the conviction.

Summary and full case available here.

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