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February 22, 2022


DENVER, CO – Bipartisan legislation to update the state’s definition of sexual assault passed the House today by a unanimous vote. HB22-1169, sponsored by Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Matt Soper, would update the definition of sexual assault in state law to include consent.

“This bill makes an update to Colorado’s dated definition of sexual assault to include ‘knowing the victim does not consent’,” said Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet D-Commerce City. “Through modernizing the definition of sexual assault, we’re making it clear that without known consent, it's sexual assault in the eyes of the law. This session, we’re taking big steps towards making Colorado safer, and this bill works to modernize the definition of sexual assault to make it easier for prosecutors to charge perpetrators and get survivors the justice they deserve.”

Under current Colorado law, sexual assault is defined as “sexual intrusion or penetration when the actor causes submission of the victim by means sufficient to cause submission against the victim's will.” If passed, HB22-1169 amends this definition to “...when the actor causes sexual intrusion or sexual penetration knowing the victim does not consent.”

Colorado’s definition of sexual assault originated nearly 50 years ago when Coloradans’ scope of sexual assault victims was narrow and non-inclusive. This bill aims to modernize the definition of sexual assault to include consent.

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