Child Abuse Criminal Defense Denver

The Iyer Law Office LLC, Denver Colorado

Child Abuse Criminal Defense:

What is Child Abuse? Child abuse is a broad term to describe four types of improper treatment of a child or children. These four types of mistreatment are: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or psychological, and neglect. In many cases children could be experiencing more than one type of abuse. The abusers of a child or children can be parents or siblings, or blood relatives or relatives by marriage or other family members or family friends, or caretakers such as teachers and babysitters, priest, parishioners, acquaintances (including other children), but also strangers; however, stranger abuser are generally very rare.

Types of abuse

CHILD PHYSICAL ABUSE: Physical child abuse is causing physical injury to a child which is not accidental. Non Accidental physical injuries can be determined by looking at the type of injury, the intensity of injury, age of injury, and circumstances at the time of the injury. In 1996, 24% of the confirmed cases of United States child abuse involved physical abuse.

Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a rare form of physical child abuse. Munchausen child abuse occurs when a caretaker (most often the mother or mother surrogate) seeks attention by making or actually causing the child to become sick or appear to be sick and then rush to get the child to medical attention. In some instances Munchausen child abuse leads to the death of the child or causing permanent damage to the health of the child.

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: Charles F. Johnson defines child sexual abuse as “any activity with a child, before the age of legal consent, that is for the sexual gratification of an adult or a significantly older child.” It includes, among other things, sexual touching and penetration, persuading a child to expose his or her sexual organs, and allowing a child to view pornography. Any inappropriate touching of a child can also be termed as child abuse; and, generally, it is how the child feels, reacts, or perceives of the touching which is key in determining whether the touching of the child is inappropriate. For example: gently rubbing or caressing, for no apparent or real reason, the upper inner thighs of a child could be treated as child sexual abuse. Another example is when one or more children expose their genitalia to the other is child sexual abuse. In most cases the child is related to or knows the abuser, and about one in five abusers are themselves underage. Sexual abuse was present in 12% of the confirmed 1996 abuse cases. An estimated 20-25% of females and 10-15% of males report that they were sexually abused by age 18.

The 1990s and early 2000s were rocked by reports of sexual abuse of children committed by Catholic priests. Most of the abuse appeared to have occurred during the 1970s and a prominent report released early in 2004 stated that as many as 10,667 children were sexually abused by more than 4,300 priests. Increases also have been seen in recent years in child pornography cases, where children are the subjects of pornography, particularly on the Internet.

EMOTIONAL CHILD ABUSE: Richard D. Krugman states that emotional abuse “has been defined as the rejection, ignoring, criticizing, isolation, or terrorizing of children, all of which have the effect of eroding their self-esteem.” Emotional abuse usually expresses itself in verbal attacks involving rejection, scapegoating, belittlement, and so forth. Because it often accompanies other types of abuse and is difficult to prove, it is rarely reported, and accounted for only 6% of the confirmed 1996 cases.

Emotional child abuse can happen in many settings: at home, at school, on sports teams, and so on. Some of the possible symptoms include loss of self-esteem, sleep disturbances, headaches or stomach aches, school avoidance, and running away from home.

Child Neglect

Many cases of child neglect occur because the parent or care-provider experiences strong negative feelings toward the child. At other times, the parent may truly care about the child, but lack the ability or strength to adequately provide for the child’s needs because he or she is handicapped by depression, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, mental retardation, or some other problem. Neglected children often do not receive adequate nourishment or emotional and mental stimulation. As a result, their physical, social, emotional, and mental development is hindered. They may, for instance, be underweight, develop language skills less quickly than other children, and seem emotionally needy.

Habitual Offenders Statutes

In Colorado, if you are convicted of child abuse and you have a previous conviction of child abuse, you cannot get probation, a suspended sentence, or a deferred prosecution sentence?

The Judge must sentence you to the maximum presumptive for the current conviction, to prison (if a felony) or to county jail (if a misdemeanor). The Judge has no discretion. The Judge cannot give you a lesser sentence.

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