Colorado Sex Offender Records
What is a Sex Offender?
In Colorado and other parts of the country, the designation of "sex offender" is reserved for people who are found guilty of unlawful sexual acts by federal or state courts. Such individuals often face stiff sanctions from the law, despite the authority with legal jurisdiction over the offense.
Any person sentenced for a sex crime must usually contend with substantial fine penalties and longer prison sentences than other criminal convictions. They may be subject to community supervision, mandatory treatment and drug testing, and loss of parental rights. Also, there is the requirement of registering as a sex offender, despite one's age. This registration lets members of the public view personally identifying information about a transgressor—the overall objective being to notify individuals living nearby and reduce recidivism (repeat offending) in the society. However, all this contributes negatively to how the community perceives an offender and ultimately hinders the individual from securing certain jobs and residing or schooling in particular places.
Who is Considered a Sex Offender in Colorado?
Colorado does not explicitly state who it regards as a "sex offender" in its statutes. However, the term typically refers to any individual who commits a sex crime, is found guilty by the court, and is required to register after serving time or probation.
What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses in Colorado?
Most sex crimes identified by the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S) involve an element of sexual assault or sexual contact. Generally, sexual assault refers to acts of sexual penetration or intrusion, whereas sexual contact refers to sexual acts involving unwanted touching. Some of Colorado's sex offenses are outlined below:
Sexual assault (18-3-402 C.R.S):
Any individual (the actor or perpetrator) who intentionally inflicts sexual penetration or intrusion on another person (the victim) is guilty of the crime of sexual assault if:
- The individual causes the victim's submission using sufficient consequences reasonably calculated to cause the victim to submit against their will.
- The perpetrator knows that the victim cannot appraise the nature of the conduct.
- The actor is aware that the victim submits mistakenly, thinking that the actor is their spouse.
- The victim is below age 15 and not the perpetrator's spouse, and the perpetrator is at least four years older.
- The victim is at least age 15 but not above 17 years old and not the perpetrator's spouse, and the perpetrator is at least ten years older.
- The victim is physically helpless, and the perpetrator is aware of this fact and knows that the victim never consented.
- The victim is held in custody by law or detained at a hospital or a place where the actor has disciplinary or supervisory authority over the victim, and the actor uses this authority to induce the victim's submission, except when incident to a legal search.
- The actor examines or treats the victim in a manner that is not consistent with reasonable medical practices or performed for a bona fide medical reason.
Generally, sexual assault is a Class 4 felony in Colorado, punishable by 2 to 6 years in prison, parole for 3 years, and a fine from $2,000 to $500,000. However, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor and extraordinary risk offense when the victim is under 15 years old and not the perpetrator's spouse, and the perpetrator is at least four years older.
A Class 1 misdemeanor conviction comes with a 6 to 24-month incarceration sentence or a fine of up to $5,000. An extraordinary risk crime poses an additional risk to human safety, health, or life, causing the courts to approve other penalties against an offender.
Furthermore, the offense becomes a Class 3 felony (4 to 12 years imprisonment, a fine from $3,000 to $750,000, and 3 years parole) if:
- The actor engages in sexual intrusion or penetration with the victim using physical force or violence.
- The perpetrator causes the victim's submission by threatening to retaliate against them or another person in the future, and the victim reasonably believes that the threat will be executed. This includes death, severe physical injury, extreme pain, and kidnapping.
- The perpetrator impairs the victim's ability to understand or control the situation by administering drugs, intoxicants, or similar substances to the victim without consent.
- The actor threatens the victim with imminent death, kidnapping, extreme pain, or serious bodily injury to cause the victim's submission, and the victim believes that the actor can execute the threat.
- The offender knew that the victim was physically helpless and did not consent.
The crime of sexual assault becomes a Class 2 felony, punishable by 8 to 24 years imprisonment, 5 years parole, and a fine from $5,000 to $1 million, if:
- One or more other individuals aided and abetted the actor in committing the crime.
- The victim suffered a severe bodily injury.
- The perpetrator used a deadly weapon to cause the victim's submission.
Other than the above penalties, the offender can lose certain rights upon conviction, including the parental rights they might have. Also, this offense sexual assault is subject to increased penalties per § 18-1.3-1004 C.R.S.
Unlawful sexual contact (18-3-403 C.R.S):
Any person who intentionally subjects another to any sexual contact is guilty of unlawful sexual contact if:
- The person (actor) is well aware that the victim did not consent.
- The actor knows that the victim cannot appraise the nature of the conduct.
- The offender knew that the victim was physically helpless and did not consent.
- The actor uses drugs, intoxicants, or other methods to cause the victim's submission.
- The offender holds a position of authority, and the victim is in legal custody or detained in a hospital or other place, and the actor uses that supervisory or disciplinary authority to compel the victim to submit.
- The actor engages in the examination or treatment of the victim for other than genuine medical reasons or using methods inconsistent with reasonable medical practices.
A person will also be charged with this crime if the individual purposefully induces or coerces a child under age 18 to expose intimate parts or partake in any sexual intrusion, penetration, or contact for the perpetrator's sexual gratification.
Unless otherwise indicated, this offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor of extraordinary risk. It is punishable by 6 to 24 years in prison or $500 to $5,000 in fines. Here, extraordinary risk means that the offense constitutes an additional risk to society (people's safety, health, or life), enough to allow the courts to impose more penalties on the offender.
However, the crime of sexual contact becomes a Class 4 felony if the actor used force, intimidation, or threats to commit the crime. A Class 4 felony has the following repercussions:
- 2 to 6 years incarceration
- 3 years parole, and
- A fine from $2,000 to $500,000
Like the crime of sexual assault, the courts can enhance the mandatory sentence of offenders convicted of a felony unlawful sexual contact when aggravating factors exist. The sentence can be increased to 5 to 16 years instead. Also, an offender sentenced on or after July 1, 2013, can lose certain parental rights.
Sexual assault on a child (18-3-404 C.R.S):
An individual commits this offense when they subject someone else who is not their spouse to any sexual contact, and that someone is less than 15 years old (a child) and the perpetrator is at least 4 years older. Ordinarily, the offense is a Class 4 felony (2 to 6 years in prison, parole for 3 years, and a fine penalty of up to $500,000), but it becomes a Class 3 felony if:
- The actor uses force to perform the act.
- The actor threatens the victim with serious bodily injury, imminent death, extreme pain, or kidnapping, and the victim believes the actor has the means to carry out the threat on them or someone else.
- The actor threatens future retaliation (kidnapping, substantial bodily injury, death, or extreme pain) on the victim or another person, and the victim believes the threat will be executed.
- The actor performs the act as part of a sexual abuse pattern.
If the offender has a child, such a person can also lose their parental rights upon conviction.
Sexual assault on a child by an individual in a position of trust (18-3-405.3 C.R.S):
This crime occurs when an individual in a position of trust over a child less than 18 years of age intentionally subjects that child to any sexual contact. The penalties for this offense differ by the gravity of the offense. For instance, the offense is a Class 3 felony if the victim is under 15 years of age or the perpetrator commits the crime as part of a sexual abuse pattern. At the same time, it is a Class 4 felony when the victim is 15 years old or higher but below 18 years old, and the offense is not committed as part of a sexual abuse pattern.
Apart from the sex crimes listed above, one can find a detailed list of Colorado sex crimes and their punishments in the Laws Governing Sex Offenders in Colorado booklet. Article 3, Part 4 of the Colorado Criminal Code also outlines these offenses and their penalties.
What Types of Sex Offenders Exist in Colorado?
Colorado does not categorize sex offenders according to tiers that depict their risk to society and community notification level, like some U.S. states. Instead, the state organizes sex offenders into adult sex offenders, juvenile sex offenders, multiple offenders, or sexually violent predators ("SVP"). SVPs typically pose a high threat to society, and as such, private citizens are usually notified of these individuals.
How to Find a Sex Offender Near Me in Colorado
According to 16-22-110 and 16-22-111 C.R.S., the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is required to create and maintain a statewide sex offender registry that is accessible to the public on the internet. As such, Colorado residents looking for sex offenders residing close to their addresses can view certain sex offender information for free. Offenders whose information are shown on the registry include:
- Adult offenders convicted of several sexual or violent felony crimes (also known as multiple offenders).
- Sexually violent predators, including those classified as such in another state.
- Adult offenders who failed to register as sex offenders for a felony sex crime.
- Registered adult offenders convicted of registrable felony sex crimes.
Also, some law enforcement agencies within the state, including the Colorado Springs Police Department and Denver Police Department, provide sex offender information on their official websites. A person interested in such information at the county or city level can typically find a searchable database of local sex offenders, a list of registered sexually violent predators (arranged alphabetically at times), and a most wanted sex offender list on those sites.
Note, however, that the Colorado sex offender registry does not show all registered offenders. For instance, searchers will not find juvenile or misdemeanor sex offenders on it. As such, the CBI provides a request form that interested persons (18 years of age or older) can fill and mail to the agency, but this service is not free. This form can also be hand-delivered to the address below from Mondays to Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.:
Colorado Bureau Of Investigation
690 Kipling Street, Suite 3000
Denver, CO 80215
Phone: (303) 239-4222
For a complete list of all registered offenders in Colorado, an individual will have to pay $20 (personal checks are not accepted). The requester can also complete a Visa/MasterCard form if they prefer to pay using a credit card. Then, mail or hand-deliver the form along with the original request form to the CBI.
Furthermore, performing a Colorado criminal history check for $5 can reveal if someone is registered as a sex offender, but this might be a less direct route to finding nearby sex offenders.
Colorado Sex Offender Registry
Colorado's Sex Offender Registry is accessible through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's website. A Top 100 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list is also available on the menu and homepage of the registry.
Members of the public can use the sex offender registry as follows:
- Visit https://apps.colorado.gov/apps/dps/sor/.
- Navigate to the site menu, click "Search," and select "search" or "map search."
- If using the "search" feature, read the disclaimer and accept the user agreement to continue. On the next page, enter a first name, last name, city, county, or zip code to search for offenders.
- Using the "map search" feature, individuals can map registered offenders by city, address, county, and zip code. This means that by selecting a particular area, they can see failure to register offenders, multiple offenders, sex offenders with felony convictions, and sexually violent predators on an interactive map. They can also see if several offenders reside at a specific location.
The following sex offender information can be procured from the statewide repository:
- An offender's full name and known aliases
- Physical description (sex, race, hair color, eye color, height, weight, and scars/marks/tattoos)
- Residence address
- Date of birth
- Offender designation (sexually violent predator, failed to register, multiple offenders, or felony conviction)
- Convictions (the offense description, relevant statute, and conviction date)
What Happens When You Register as a Sex Offender in Colorado?
The Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act is codified under Sections 16-22-102 to 16-22-115 of the revised statutes. This Act directs the registration processes used by law enforcement and establishes an offender's duty to register for certain sex convictions, including:
- Unlawful sexual offenses defined in 18-3-411 C.R.S, such as sexual assault, sexual assault on a child, aggravated incest, human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude, indecent exposure, pimping of a child, etc.
- Any offense that would constitute an unlawful sexual offense in Colorado, even though the offender was convicted in another state or jurisdiction.
- Any offense that would require a person to register in the state, regardless of the state or jurisdiction where the sentence was ordered.
- A sexually violent offense.
Offenders who receive a sex conviction and lack a fixed residence must also register.
Usually, most offenders must update their registration information every year within 5 working days of their birthday. However, offenders whose crimes were severe are expected to re-register quarterly. For instance:
- Sexually violent predators.
- Persons convicted of felony crimes such as felony sexual assault, incest, sexual assault on a child, aggravated incest, sexual assault on a child by a psychotherapist, and sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust.
- Offenders convicted outside the state whose offense would mandate quarterly registration in the state.
Offenders must also update their information if they move to a new address or location or legally change their names. Any failure to register or verify one's address counts as a criminal offense in Colorado. For example, failure to verify location can lead to a sentence of up to 30 days in county jail. A third or subsequent violation will attract a jail sentence of up to a year (18-3-412.6 C.R.S.).
Apart from the conditions and requirements above, sex offenders registered in Colorado are not limited to where they can live by the law. However, local ordinances can bar an offender from residing near schools, public parks, daycare facilities, and other places where children assemble.
Regardless, Colorado allows certain offenders to petition their sentencing court to discontinue registration and internet posting after a certain period passes. This option is not available to sexually violent predators, multiple offenders, and persons expected to register again after every 3 months, as they are subject to lifelong registration.
The time requirements only apply after a person has been released from incarceration, probation, parole, or the court's jurisdiction and has no subsequent conviction for an unlawful sexual offense. These minimum periods are detailed in 16-22-113 C.R.S. and are as follows:
- Class 1, 2, or 3 felony - 20 years.
- Class 1 misdemeanor sexual contact or sexual assault, or Class 4, 5, or 6 felony - 10 years.
- Other misdemeanor offenses - 5 years.
- Failure to register - After 1 year of fully complying with all registration requirements.
- Juvenile offenders (persons under 18 years when they committed a sex offense) - After the offender has completed and been discharged from a juvenile sentence or disposition.
- A deferred sentence or adjudication - Once the sentence has been completed and the case dismissed.
What is the Colorado Sex Offender Registry?
The Colorado Bureau of Investigations, via the Sex Offender Tracking and Registration (SOTAR) system, provides up-to-date information on convicted sex offenders in the following categories:
- Sexually violent predators
- Multiple offenders
- Non-compliant sex offenders
- Sex offenders convicted of a felony sex offense
Sex offenders convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses or juveniles adjudicated for sex crimes are not listed on the Colorado Sex Offender Registry. Details on the sex offender registry may include full name and aliases, location, and identifying information on all registered sex offenders. Under the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act, C.R.S. 16-22-102 - C.R.S. 16-22-115, persons convicted of sex offenses must register at the local and state law enforcement agencies during business days within days of receiving a notice to register.
Interested members of the public may also obtain public record information from third-party websites. These privately owned sites typically host data culled from public databases and repositories. However, the information available on third-party sites may vary since they are independent of government sources. In order to use a third-party site, record seekers may be required to provide all or some of the following information:
- The full name on the record of choice
- The last known or current address of the named individual
- The address of the requestor
Who Runs the Colorado Sex Offender Registry?
The Colorado Bureau of Investigations is responsible for the operation and management of the Colorado Sex Offender Registry. The CBI maintains sex offender information on the internet for public members to access. It also maintains private and more detailed sex offenders’ data on the Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC) computer system for law enforcement agencies in the state. The CCIC computer system is linked with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to create a unified sex offender database.
Who Can View the Colorado Sex Offender Registry
Almost anyone can view and obtain records of all registered sex offenders on the Colorado Sex Offender Registry. The CBI enables interested persons to request a complete list of sex offenders in person or via mail. Interested parties must download, fill, print out the request form, and send the completed form to the CBI Headquarters at:
Colorado Bureau of Investigation
690 Kipling Street
Denver, CO 80215
Phone: (303) 239-4222
Fax: (303) 239-5788
Who is Exempt From the Colorado Sex Offender Registry?
Courts in Colorado may exempt offenders from registering on the platform if they meet certain criteria:
- The offender was below the legal age at the time when the sex offender registration act was enacted.
- If the offender would not pose a significant risk to the community if exempt.
What are the Sex Offender Laws in Colorado?
The Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act also referred to as the Adam Welsh Child Protection and Safety Act is the sole sex offender law in Colorado. Signed into law on July 26, 2006, the Welsh Act groups sex offenders into Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III based on the severity and nature of the sex offense, respectively.
For instance, under the Welsh Act, Tier III offenders must register with the state’s Sex Offender Registry for life and update their whereabouts every three months. Whereas Tier I sex offenders must register with the SOR for 15 years and update their details annually.
The Walsh Act is also responsible for the following functions:
- Incorporates the use of a DNA collection system and tracking of sex offenders using GPS technology into its national database.
- Increases the penalty from the minimum incarceration period for sex offenses, such as child prostitution, sex trafficking of children, and sexually assaulting children less than 18 years old.
- Enables judges to civilly commit incarcerated sex offenders if they fit the following criteria:
- Suffers from a mental illness or disorder;
- Attempted to or engaged in child molestation or sexually violent conduct;
- And as a result, will have difficulty in sexually violent conduct if released.
Can a Sex Offender Live With Their Family in Colorado?
The Colorado Sex Offenders Registration Act does not prevent sex offenders from living with persons related by blood or marriage. However, the Registration Act allows a case-by-case basis if the crime victim is the sex offender’s family member. Generally, the courts will determine if the family members are in inherent danger.
How Long Do Sex Offenders Have to Register in Colorado?
Under the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act, sex offenders must continue to register with the state’s sex offender registry until the court releases them from the judgment. Moreover, the duration of an offender’s registration on the SOR varies, and it depends on the nature of the offense. The list below shows the type of sex offense and the registration duration.
- For Class 1, 2, or 3 felony, sex offenders must register on the SOR for 20 years after completing their sentence.
- For Class 4, 5, or 6 felony, sex offenders must register on the SOR for ten years after completing their sentence.
- For 3rd Degree Sex Assault or Unlawful Sexual Contact (M1), sex offenders must register on the SOR for ten years after completing their sentence.
- For other Misdemeanors, sex offenders must register on the SOR for five years after completing their sentence.
Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in Colorado?
The Colorado Sex Offender Registration law only permits community notification when offenders who pose the highest risk are released into the community. The Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB), which is under the purview of the Colorado Department of Public Safety, is responsible for developing the steps for notifying the community about high-risk offenders. Furthermore, local law enforcement agencies are under the directive of the SOMB to conduct a local notification when a high-risk sex offender is released in their jurisdiction.
In addition, the Colorado Sex Offender Registry hosts a free subscription notification service. This enables state residents to receive email notifications regarding sex offender registrants in their zip code. To access the notification service, interested persons must create an account or log into the platform.
Do Offenders Have to Put Up a Sign in Colorado?
Sex offender laws in Colorado does not require offenders to put up signs in their yard. However, paroled sex offenders are placed under an intensive supervisory program to minimize risks to the public. The supervisory program will cover the following:
- Daily communication between the paroled offender and the probation officer;
- Alcohol and drug screening
- Home visitations
- Employment visitation
How Close Can a Sex Offender Live Close to a School in Colorado?
Generally, Colorado laws do not restrict sex offenders from living in proximity to schools and other areas frequented by children. However, under Section 16-11.7-103 (4)(g), C.R.S., the SOMB utilizes a set of guidelines to restrict sex offenders from loitering, living, or living close to schools, parks, arcades, and playgrounds.
In addition, the guidelines forbid offenders from making contact with children without prior approval. Although the guidelines do not state a specific distance from the school environment, parole or probationary officers might set the distance on a case-by-case basis.
How to Look Up Sex Offenders in Colorado
The Colorado Bureau of Investigations, via the Sex Offenders Registry, maintains and regularly updates information on all eligible and convicted sex offenders residing within the state. Sex offender information is uploaded on the platform by Department of Corrections personnel, sheriffs, probation officers, judges, and magistrates. The Offender registry features the following data on sex offenders:
- Offender’s full names and aliases
- Offender’s photograph (if available)
- Type of sex offense.
Interested persons can lookup sex offenders information by using the following search options:
Colorado Sex Offender Location-Based Search
Members of the public can also access Colorado sex offender information by filling out the offender’s address, city, zip code, and street name.
Colorado Sex Offender Name-Based Search
Interested persons can obtain sex offender information on the SOR using the offender’s first and last name.
Colorado Sex Offender Map-Based Search
In addition, the Colorado Sex Offender Registry hosts a searchable map database. Interested parties can find sex offenders in their location by inputting the city, address, zip code, and county. The CBI also enables interested persons to request the full list of registered sex offenders in the state. To obtain the full list of registered sex offenders, the record seeker must download, print out and send the request form to the CBI address.
Can You Expunge a Sex Offender Charge in Colorado?
Most sex offenders can petition the court to expunge their sex offender charge from the sex offender registry. However, sexually violent predators on a lifetime registration cannot remove their information from the registry. Registered sex offenders in Colorado can expunge their sex offender charge if they fall into one of the following categories:
- Class 1, 2, and 3 felony sex offenders can petition to remove their sex charge 20 years after final release from the court’s judgment.
- Class 4, 5, 6 felony sex offenders can petition to remove their sex charge ten years after the final release date from the court’s judgment.
- Offenders convicted of class 1 misdemeanor of unlawful sexual contact can petition to remove their sex charge 20 years after the final release date from the court’s judgment or being released from incarceration.
- An offender convicted of all other misdemeanors is eligible to expunge their sex charge five years after final release from the court’s judgment.
Is Public Urination a Sex Offense in Colorado?
Public Urination is currently a sex crime in Colorado, according to the sex offender registration law. Offenders-if convicted-must register on the sex offender registry. However, Colorado lawmakers are taking action to change the state laws and separate the public indecency charges from indecent exposure crimes. According to the current law, sexual acts public masturbation, and public urination are both charged as acts of indecency. The new law, HB 10-1334, will classify serious sexual acts like public masturbation as class 1 misdemeanor under the statute, C.R.S. §18-7-302.
How to Report a Sex Offender in Colorado
Members of the public can report suspected sex offenders by contacting the local law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency will take the needed steps to apprehend and convict the offender under current state laws.