Denver Sexual Assault Lawyer

Serving Denver, Greenwood Village, and all of Colorado

Sexual Assault
Denver Sexual Assault Attorney

Are You a Victim of Sexual Assault?


Sexual assault is an incredibly personal and devastating form of violence.  Sadly, in the United States, about 1 in 5 women will experience attempted or completed rape at some point during her lifetime, as will approximately 1 in 38 men.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a crime that occurs when someone is subjected to penetrative sex without their consent. Most states now use the term sexual assault instead of “rape,” which traditionally refers to forced intercourse by a male upon a female through physical violence or threats. Although the words are still used interchangeably, “sexual assault” reflects the reality that people of any gender can be victims of sex without their consent, and the assault does not have to involve physical violence. Sex with someone who is too drunk, lacks understanding, or is otherwise incapable of consent is also sexual assault. The Colorado Statute defining sexual assault is C.R.S. § 18-3-402. Sexual assault is almost always a felony in Colorado, punishable by 2 years to life in prison.

Unlawful Sexual Contact is a crime that occurs when someone is subjected to other kinds of sexual contact without their consent, such as groping. Colorado’s statute defining unlawful sexual contact can be found at C.R.S. § 18-3-404. Unlawful sexual contact can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity and circumstance.

Denver Sexual Assault Lawyer

What is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault?

Colorado recently revised its statutes of limitations for sexual assault to acknowledge the reality that sexual assault victims often need many years to feel safe enough to bring a charge against their assailant.  Victims often face feelings of shame, fear of retaliation, or outside pressure to keep the assault quiet, all of which can take years to overcome. In addition, most sexual assault victims (70%) know their assailant at least casually. It takes courage to bring a charge against someone you know.

It is important to realize that there are two types of legal action that are available to victims: criminal and civil. The criminal penalties for sexual assault and abuse involve jail time and registration as a sex offender. Civil penalties involve monetary compensation to the victim.


  • For criminal charges of sexual assault, as well as attempted rape, conspiracy to commit rape, and solicitation to commit rape: Prosecutors may bring a case within 20 years of the attack. However, if the assault was reported to police within 20 years of the incident and there is DNA evidence of the suspect, there is no statute of limitations. If the victim was 14 years old or less, prosecutors may also bring charges at any time.
  • For civil charges of sexual assault: The statute of limitations has recently changed. For civil claims that were still within the statute of limitations as of January 1, 2022, the statute of limitations is now removed. For sexual misconduct, including but not limited to sexual assault, occurring on January 1, 2022 or later, there is no longer a statute of limitations. See C.R.S § 13-80-103.7.
  • For civil charges of sexual abuse of children: The Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act (SB21-088) was passed on January 1, 2022. It provides a three year window for people who suffered sexual abuse as children in Colorado from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 2024 to bring legal action. Survivors may bring civil claims against perpetrators and institutions such as youth organizations if the assault occurred while the victim was a participant in a youth-related activity or program, and the organization either knew or should have known of the risks against minors. Legal action must commence before January 1, 2025.


Adult victims may also bring civil claims against institutions that failed to provide reasonable safeguards against sexual assault. Types of institutions that can be held liable in sexual assault cases include:

  • Prisons
  • Nursing homes
  • Health care facilities
  • Hotels
  • Apartment complexes
  • Massage Spas
  • Churches

If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to seek help. You can recover. With help, you will.

Resources for Sexual Assault Victims

Both sites provide excellent resources to help victims find medical support, emotional healing, and legal justice.

Are You a Victim of Sexual Assault?


Sexual abuse is so prevalent in our society that one could say it is endemic.  However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  At Shafner Law, we understand that people who would march in the street for others are sometimes reluctant to seek justice for themselves.  We understand the courage and inner strength it takes for victims to come forward. When necessary, our Denver personal injury attorneys will file lawsuits in these cases and take them to trial so our clients recover the compensation they deserve.

For a free consultation, call Shafner Law at (303) 796-0555 or fill out the Case Form below.

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