Is Sexual Harassment a Criminal Offense?

Sexual harassment is a serious issue with grave consequences. Modern workplaces do not take these offenses lightly and could terminate your employment on the spot. If taken further, the issue could eventually become a lawsuit. Criminal defense lawyers like C. Robert Biondino Jr. focus on cases like yours, but not in the way you may be thinking. Sexual harassment is a sensitive issue, but it is not technically illegal.

Types of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment comes in two forms. While unethical, neither is technically a crime. Quid pro quo is where a person with authoritative power demands that you commit sexual acts. The person in authority could use their power to enforce their demands by promising reward or punishment.

Hostile work environment is an environment where those with authority fail to stop sexually inappropriate behavior. A workplace can be made intimidating or uncomfortable when offensive behavior is unpunished or encouraged. Either type of harassment is open to civil liabilities, but not arrest, until they cross the line into sexual assault.

The Thin Line between Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is differs from harassment through a thin line that changes it from a civil issue to a legal one. A case involving sexual assault involves going beyond verbal threats into making physical ones. Sexual harassment is also classified under different crime categories if the offenses go far enough. If exacerbated, a sexual harassment case can easily become a sexual assault issue, with additional charges in stalking, menacing, imprisoning, and abusing the victim.

Sex offenders are sex crime convicts, and their names go on a list that follows them for life. Colorado sees thousands of arrests annually when it comes to sex crime reports so when accused you should do all you can to avoid escalation. If you need defense in a Colorado court then our friends at Law Office of Rob Biondino are available to help. Sexual harassment may not be a crime, but escalation and consequences in court should be avoided at all costs.  

Taking the Case to Court

Sexual harassment cases are open to civil action and can lead to you standing before the court. Accusations in court will need proof of different factors that determine the context and severity of a case. The court needs to determine several dynamics: the frequency of the behavior, conduct of the parties, context, hostility, and the facts about the business. Your case can be strengthened with legal representation working to showcase your side of the story in court.

Consequences of Conviction

Sexual harassment charges can have you blacklisted for the rest of your professional career. Blacklisting extends to both accusers and the accused, and losing a case opens you up to a counter-lawsuit. Worse, sexual harassment cases can have additional charges added on that serve to push the punishment into sex crime classifications. You absolutely do not want to have a sex crime listed on your record; the consequences last a lifetime.

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