(Apr. 16) – The House approved Rep. Leslie Herod’s bipartisan bill to charge a peace officer with unlawful sexual conduct when they knowingly engage in sexual contact, sexual intrusion, or sexual penetration anytime the victim is in custody, regardless of consent.

“This bill will make it easier to hold law enforcement accountable when they use their authority to sexually assault people in their custody,” said Rep. Herod, D-Denver. “Current law is allowing some cases to slip through the crack, and even one or two cases of sexual assault by a peace officer is too many.”

Unlawful sexual conduct by a peace officer is a class 4 felony when the offense is committed by sexual contact and is a class 3 felony (a more serious offense) when the offense is committed by sexual intrusion or sexual penetration. A class 4 felony carries a possible sentence of 2-6 years in the Department of Corrections, and a class 3 felony carries a possible sentence of 4-12 years. An offender convicted of unlawful sexual conduct by a peace officer is required to register as a sex offender. An offender convicted of a class 3 felony due to unlawful sexual conduct by a peace officer is subject to lifetime supervision.

HB19-1250 passed with a bipartisan vote of 59-5, with five Republicans voting no. The bill now heads to the Senate.

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