Colorado has stringent penalties for individuals convicted of sex crimes. Recently, a state law took effect that requires sex crime disclosure for some licensed professionals. This new law could ruin your livelihood. If you’re a professional who faces a sex crime disclosure due to criminal charges our Criminal Defense Team can help.
Facing a Sex Crime Disclosure?
Professionals facing sex crime charges have even more to worry about with the new sex crime disclosure law. Robinson & Henry criminal defense attorneys are experienced in defending individuals charged with felony and misdemeanor sex crimes. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your free case assessment.
Sex Crime Disclosure Requirement
Colorado law now requires many licensed, certified, or registered professionals to tell their patients and clients when they’re punished for committing a sexual offense or sexual misconduct. CRS § 12-30-115
Most of the professionals now mandated to supply a sex crime disclosure have roles in the healthcare industry, such as doctors, nurses, and psychiatrists. But there are less obvious licensed providers who are also required to give these notices.
Some of those professionals include:
- massage therapists
- therapists and counselors
- occupational therapists
- speech-language pathologists
- respiratory therapists
- surgical assistants and technologists
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (CDRA) oversees the licensing of healthcare professionals. Click here to browse a full list of healthcare industries supervised by the CDRA.
The law only applies to providers who have direct contact with a patient. In other words, if you are part of a larger practice, you do not need to notify patients who see other practitioners.
What Triggers the Disclosure Law
The mandatory sex crime disclosure law is triggered when a health care professional pleads guilty to, is convicted of, or is disciplined for certain sex crimes or unprofessional conduct.
The law specifically mentions the long list of sex offenses defined in CRSA § 16-11.7-102 (3). We’ve listed some of them below, but you can click here to review the full list.
- sexual assaults
- sexual exploitation of children
- internet luring of a child
- internet sexual exploitation of a child
- unlawful sexual contact
- indecent exposure
- public indecency
- invasion of privacy for sexual gratification
Additionally, the law does not limit disclosures to just statutory crimes. It also mentions “unprofessional conduct” that calls for discipline by the provider’s regulatory agency.
(II) A finding that the provider engaged in unprofessional conduct or other conduct that is grounds for discipline under the part or article of this title 12 that regulates the provider’s health care profession, where the failure or conduct is related to, includes, or involves sexual misconduct that results in harm to a patient or presents a significant risk of public harm to patients. CRS § 12-30-115(2)(b)(II)
What Must be Included in the Disclosure
First, providers are required to notify clients before they render any services. The disclosure must be in writing, and patients must acknowledge by signature they received the disclosure and that they agree to be treated by the provider.
The disclosure must include specific facts such as:
- the nature of the offense or misconduct
- whether the provider pled guilty or was convicted
- the length of jail/prison sentence
- the duration of penalties ordered by the regulatory agency
- any limitations placed on their practice by their regulatory agency
- the length of any probation
- when limitations and/or probation ends
Does the Disclosure Ever End?
Yes. According to the law, professionals disciplined for sexual misconduct can discontinue the disclosures once they’ve met all of the requirements of their probation or limitations.
“the requirement to disclose the conviction, guilty plea, or agency action ends when the provider has satisfied the requirements of the probation or other limitation and is no longer on probation or otherwise subject to a limitation on the ability to practice the provider’s profession.” CRS § 12-30-115(3)(e)(2)
Unfortunately, by the time the disclosure requirement ends, the damage to your practice or career may be irreversible.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are instances when a provider does not have to reveal their current probation or regulatory agency limitations to a patient.
The most obvious is if the patient is unconscious. Unscheduled trips to emergency rooms or consultations at inpatient facilities also do not require the notice.
Also, if a parent or guardian of a minor or incapacitated person is unavailable to sign the sex crime disclosure form, then the law does not apply.
The law also states that if “the provider who will be treating the patient during the visit is not known to the patient until immediately prior to the start of the visit” then a disclosure is not necessary.
Failure to Comply with the Sex Crime Disclosure
If a treatment provider does not follow the sex crime disclosure law, he or she faces discipline by their regulator agency. That means you could be suspended, reprimanded, or have your license to practice taken away.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re a licensed healthcare professional who is charged with a sex crime, you should consult a lawyer immediately. As you know, you have a lot at stake.
Our Criminal Defense Team offers a free case assessment during which you’ll discuss the facts of your case, your potential legal options, the legal process, the cost of your defense, and more. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your free case assessment or click here to make the appointment online.