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On-Campus Sexual Assault and Misconduct Has Serious Consequences

Former University of Colorado at Boulder football player Michael O’Connor remains in custody for allegedly being an accessory to sexual assault. O’Connor is accused of helping another man rape a woman with whom O’Connor was having consensual sex at the time. The University has suspended him for two years and he is now facing significant time in jail.

O’Connor’s incident was the first of three alleged sexual assaults reported in the first five months of the year on University of Colorado at Boulder’s campus. However, because many alleged victims are reluctant to file police reports, it is unknown how many incidents have actually occurred. Even less reported, but more frequent, are instances of sexual harassment.

While some may feel that “hooking up” is just part of college life, anyone who commits sexual assault, sexual misconduct or sexual harassment risks stern academic discipline from the University and serious legal consequences.

Criminal Charges for Sexual Assault

While being publicly accused of a sexual crime is devastating enough, the consequences of a conviction for a sexual crime are drastic and life altering. Bail amounts are extremely high. Many categories of sex offense convictions carry sentences of lifetime supervision and even life imprisonment. All sex offenses require Registration as a Sex Offender (presumptively for life), and restrict you from interacting with minors, even your own children or siblings. A sex crime conviction will also result in a court order that you participate in years of sex offender treatment and therapy. Other consequences include having where you can and cannot live dictated to you and having your identity as a sexual offender available in online databases that anyone can access.

Colorado does not take sex crimes lightly. Under Colorado law, sex offenders are subject to Lifetime Supervision of Sex Offender Rules, and mandatory sentences which may effectively amount to life in prison. In addition to prison, those charged with sexual assault face possible lifetime supervision, years of sex offender treatment and therapy, and registration as a sex offender. Sex offender registration can severely limit one’s future employment and housing possibilities as well as one’s ability to receive government benefits.

School Rules

The University of Colorado at Boulder has specific rules and sanctions for sexual assault or harassment. The school’s Student Conduct Code specifically prohibits “non-consensual sexual intercourse” and “non-consensual sexual contact,” the violation of which results in “a minimum sanction” of suspension.

No Joke

If you or a loved one has been accused of any type of sexual offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights and your options.