Manjarrez v. People.
2020 CO 53. No. 18SC765. Criminal Acts Against Children—Status as to Child—Position of Trust.
June 15, 2020
In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict defendant of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, in violation of CRS § 18-3-405.3(1). CRS § 18-3-401(3.5) provides that one in a “position of trust” includes but is not limited to a person charged with any duty or responsibility for the welfare or supervision of a child. Colorado case law has made clear that this duty or responsibility need not be express but can be implied from the circumstances. In People v. Roggow, 2013 CO 70, ¶ 15, the Court held that “a defendant may occupy a position of trust with respect to the victim where an existing relationship or other conduct or circumstances establish that the defendant is entrusted with special access to the child victim.” The Court clarified that a defendant’s “special access” to the victim by virtue of “an existing relationship or other conduct or circumstances” is evidence of an implied duty or responsibility for the welfare or supervision of the victim during those periods of special access.
Because the evidence at trial, viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, established that defendant was entrusted with special access to the victim by virtue of his relationship with her family and that he was implicitly responsible for her welfare and supervision at the time of the assault, the Court affirmed defendant’s conviction for sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.
Criminal Acts Against Children, Status as to Child, Position of Trust