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Understanding the Colorado Sex Offender Registry

The sex offender registry provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of local communities may better protect themselves and their children from these known sex offenders.

Law enforcement agencies are required to release the following information regarding registered sex offenders:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Aliases of the registrant
  • Photograph, if readily available
  • A history of the convictions resulting in the registrant being required to register, and any other convictions he/she may have.

Information concerning victims is not released.

It is important to remember that the list of sex offenders in your community will not necessarily include juvenile offenders at your local school if the juvenile offender does not live in your community. Furthermore, it will not include those adult offenders who work in the community but do not live in the community.

The sex offender registry includes only those persons who have been required by law to register and who are in compliance with the sex offender registrations laws. Persons should not rely solely on the sex offender registry as a safeguard against perpetrators of sexual assault in their communities. Since most sexual assault crimes are not reported, most sex offenders are not convicted of their crimes and therefore will not be listed on the sex offender registry. The crime for which a person is convicted may not accurately reflect the level of risk.

Offenders’ addresses are reported at the time of registration and are updated when new information becomes available. The registry information is subject to change at any time.

The sex offenders on the sex offender registry may be living in the community under criminal justice supervision (probation or parole), or they may have already served their sentences and are no longer under any supervision, but are still required to register with their local enforcement agency.

Who Is Considered a Sex Offender?

The Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) define a sex offender as a person convicted of one of the following sexual offenses:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual assault in the first degree, in violation of 18-3-402, as it existed prior to July 1, 2000
  • Sexual assault in the second degree, in violation of 18-3-403, as it existed prior to July 1, 2000
  • Unlawful sexual contact
  • Sexual assault on a child
  • Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust
  • Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist
  • Enticement of a child
  • Incest
  • Aggravated Incest
  • Trafficking in children
  • Sexual exploitation of children
  • Procurement of a child for sexual exploitation
  • Indecent exposure
  • Soliciting for child prostitution
  • Pandering of a child
  • Procurement of a child for prostitution
  • Keeping a place of child prostitution
  • Pimping of a child
  • Inducement of child prostitution
  • Patronizing a prostituted child
  • Criminal attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any of the above offenses.

Who Is Required to Register as a Sex Offender?

  • Adults who were convicted of an unlawful sexual offense on a child on or after July 1, 1991, or who were released on or after July 1, 1991 from the department of corrections after serving a sentence for a sexual offense against a child.

  • Offenders who were convicted of any sexual offense after July 1, 1994, or released from the department of corrections on or after July 1, 1994 after serving a sentence for any type of sexual offense.

There are also individuals who are required to register even though they were convicted of, or pled guilty to, a non-sexual offense. This occurs when the person admits in court, after advisement, that the underlying factual basis of the offense involved an unlawful sexual behavior (for example, a person who committed a rape and a burglary, but pled guilty to or was convicted of only the burglary, may still have to register because the original offense included unlawful sexual behavior).

The same registration laws apply to juveniles who receive a disposition, are adjudicated, or receive a deferred adjudication based on the commission of any act that may constitute unlawful sexual behavior.

However, courts may exempt juveniles from having to register when:

  • An exemption would not pose significant risk to community
  • The person was younger than 18 years old at the time of the offense
  • There is no previous charge for unlawful sexual behavior
  • The original charge is a first offense and is either a misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact or indecent exposure
  • The sex offense evaluation, conducted by an approved provider, recommends an exemption in the best interests of the juvenile and the community
  • The court makes written findings of fact specifying grounds for exemption.

Who Instructs Sex Offenders to Register?

Sex offenders receive notice of the requirement to register from judges, probation and parole officers, and staff at the department of human services, county jails, and the department of corrections.

Where Do Sex Offenders Register?

A sex offender must register at the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where he/she resides. If the person lives within the corporate limits of a city or town, he/she must register at the police department. If the person lives outside the limits of a city or town, he/she must register at the county sheriff’s department.

When Must a Sex Offender Register?

Sex offenders are required to register within five business days of becoming a resident of Colorado, or within five business days of being released into the community under criminal justice supervision (probation, parole, community corrections). If released from the department of corrections (prison) with no criminal justice supervision, a sex offender must register the next business day.

Most sex offenders must re-register annually on their birth date. In addition, sex offenders must re-register whenever they legally change their name, move to a different address, establish an additional residence, or are employed in the state for more than 14 consecutive business days or 30 days in a calendar year. A person must also register if they are enrolled, volunteer, or are employed by any type of post-secondary educational institution in this state.

Any person convicted as an adult of the following offenses must register quarterly (every 90 days) for the remainder of his/her life (Section 16-22-108(1)(d), C.R.S.):

  • Sexual assault as currently defined by statute
  • Sexual assault on a child
  • Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust
  • Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist
  • Incest or aggravated incest
  • Anyone found to be a sexually violent predator.

Anytime an offender ceases to reside at an address, he/she must notify the local law enforcement agency. (Section 16-22-108(4)(a) C.R.S.)

What if a Sex Offender Fails to Register?

If a sex offender fails to comply with any registration requirements, he/she may be charged with the criminal offense of “Failure to Register as a Sex Offender,” an offense which may be charged as a felony.

Can a Sex Offender Ever Be Removed from the Sex Offender Registry?

Both adult and juvenile offenders may petition the court to be removed from the sex offender registry. For an adult offender, there is a minimum amount of time that a person has to remain on the registry, depending on the type of crime that was committed. Some sex offenders must remain on the registry for the remainder of their lives. Juvenile offenders may petition the court to be removed from the registry after the completion of their sentence if there has not been an additional offense for unlawful sexual behavior.

How Do I Access the Sex Offender Registry?

Visit your local law enforcement agency and request the sex offender registry list.

  • Registry information may be released to any person 18 years or older residing within the law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction.

  • Persons requesting information will need to show proper ID or other proof of residence.

  • The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may provide information to any person who resides within the same local law enforcement agency jurisdiction as the requesting person or in a contiguous local law enforcement agency.

    • When necessary for public protection and demonstration of a “need to know,” the CBI may provide information concerning sex offenders who reside within geographical areas other than the ones specified above.

    • In determining “need to know,” law enforcement will, at a minimum, consider the nature and extent of the citizen’s presence or the presence of the citizen’s immediate family in a specific jurisdiction. (The term, “immediate family” includes the person’s spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, or child.)

Check the CBI website, which contains a statewide list of certain high-risk registered sex offenders. The list is limited to the following groups of offenders:

  • Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs). SVPs are considered the highest risk sex offenders. Most convicted SVPs are currently in prison. The identifying information is posted on this site only when they are living in the community either under criminal justice supervision or having completed their sentence. SVPs are the only category of sex offenders that is subject to community notification.

  • Multiple Offenders. These sex offenders have two or more adult felony convictions for unlawful sexual behavior or crimes of violence.

  • Failed to Register: These sex offenders have not registered as required with their local law enforcement agencies and are subject to additional criminal charges for their non-compliance.

Please note:

  • There are no juvenile sex offenders listed on the CBI’s website.

  • A sex offender may meet the criteria for more than one of the above categories and therefore may be posted on more than one list on this site.

  • This website does not list all sex offenders.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sex Offenders

1. Why are convicted sex offenders allowed to live in the community?

Approximately 65 percent of all convicted sex offenders in Colorado receive a direct placement into the community from the court. Offenders who are determined to be the most dangerous are usually sentenced to lengthy prison terms. In determining an offender’s risk to the community, the court (or if the offender is sentenced to the department of corrections (prison), the parole board) considers the professional recommendation of the probation officer or department of correction’s case manager and the assessment of a sex offense-specific mental health evaluator or treatment provider. If the offender is determined to be manageable in the community, a recommendation may be made that he/she be supervised by probation or parole. In all cases, either the court or parole board will determine the placement of a sex offender.

2. What is a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP)?

These are offenders who have been designated a Sexually Violent Predator by the court or the parole board. They represent a small proportion of all convicted sex offenders. In Colorado, many SVPs are subject to the lifetime supervision law, which prolongs a sex offender’s sentence indeterminately.

3. How are sex offenders supervised in the community?

Most sex offenders are closely monitored for high-risk behavior while they are under criminal justice supervision, through treatment and the use of polygraphs. Some sex offenders learn through treatment to manage their sexual offending behaviors and decrease their risk of re-offending. However, such behavioral management should not be considered a “cure,” and treatment cannot permanently eliminate the risk that sex offenders may repeat their offenses.

4. Now that I know a sex offender lives in my community, what should I do differently to protect my family and myself?

Support and attend sexual assault prevention programs for yourself and your children. It is important to remember that undetected or un-convicted sex offenders and all sex offenders convicted prior to July 1, 1991 are not on any sex offender registration list. Research indicates that a person is most likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they know.

5. Is there a list of sex offenders on the Internet?

CBI maintains a list of certain categories of offenders: Sexually Violent Predators, multiple offenders, and those offenders who fail to register as sex offenders. The majority of registered sex offenders are not listed on the Internet.

Definitions

Community notification laws allow or mandate law enforcement and criminal justice or corrections agencies to notify citizens about certain convicted sex offenders living in their communities. These laws are distinct from sex offender registration laws. Community notification only applies to those offenders who are designated as Sexually Violent Predators.

Community supervision teams are responsible for monitoring sex offenders. The teams consist of a criminal justice supervising officer (probation or parole), a sex offender treatment provider, and a polygraph examiner.

Conviction occurs when a person is found guilty, or has pled guilty to a specific crime. It also includes deferred judgments and deferred adjudications.

Sex offender registration laws enacted at the federal level require states to comply with the sex offender registration and notification processes, which include:

  • The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, which requires states to establish sex offender registration for convicted offenders, along with a system to track them.

  • Megan’s Law, which requires states to inform community residents about the presence of convicted sex offenders in their neighborhoods.

  • The Pam Lychner Act, which amended the Jacob Wetterling Act by mandating lifetime registration for some sex offenders and mandating a National Sex Offender Registry.

Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) is a board created by the Colorado legislature. The SOMB is responsible for the development and approval of various policies and procedures regarding the management of sex offenders, most of which are included in the Standards and Guidelines for the Assessment, Evaluation, Treatment and Behavioral Monitoring of Adult Sex Offenders. The SOMB has also developed Standards and Guidelines for the Evaluation, Assessment, Treatment and Supervision of Juveniles Who Have Committed Sexual Offenses; Lifetime Supervision Criteria; Standards for Community Entities that Provide Supervision and Treatment for Adult Sex Offenders Who Have Developmental Disabilities; Criteria, Protocols, and Procedures for Community Notification; and the Sexual Predator Risk Assessment Screening Instrument used to identify Sexually Violent Predators.

Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) (Section 18-3-414.5 C.R.S.): 1) A “Sexually violent predator” is an offender:

(I) Who is eighteen years of age or older as of the date the offense is committed or who is less than eighteen years of age as of the date the offense is committed but is tried as an adult;

(II) Who has been convicted on or after July 1, 1999, of one of the following offenses committed on or after July 1, 1997:

(A) Sexual assault in the first, second, or third degree (felony) as it existed prior to July 1, 2000;

(B) Sexual assault as currently defined by statute;

(C) Unlawful sexual contact;

(D) Sexual assault on a child;

(E) Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.

(III) Whose victim was a stranger to the offender or a person with whom the offender established or promoted a relationship primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization; and

(IV) Who, based upon the results of a risk assessment screening instrument, is likely to subsequently commit one or more of the offenses specified in paragraph (II) above.

Based on the results of such assessment, the court or parole board shall make specific findings of fact and enter an order concerning whether the defendant is a sexually violent predator.

Vigilantism is the unlawful attacking or harassing of an identified sex offender, his/her family or his/her property.

Colorado Child Sexual Abuse Information

Sexual Abuse Includes:

  • Fondling or touching a child’s private parts.
  • Forcing the child to touch another’s private parts.
  • Exposing children to adult sexual activity.
  • Exposing children to pornographic materials.
  • Having children perform in pornographic movies.
  • Having children pose for pornographic materials.
  • Sexual intercourse.

Other Articles of Interest:

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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
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