June 16, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Failure to Give Jury Instruction on “Penetration” Not Plain Error where Fact Not At Issue

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Lozano-Ruiz on Monday, October 29, 2018.

Plain Error—Criminal Jury Instructions.

In this case, the supreme court reviewed the trial court’s reversal of a sexual assault conviction for failure to provide a jury instruction containing the statutory definition of “sexual penetration.” The court concluded that because the question of whether sexual penetration had occurred was not a contested issue at trial, the county court did not plainly err by failing to give a corresponding instruction to the jury. Accordingly, the court reversed the trial court’s order and affirmed Lozano-Ruiz’s conviction.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

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