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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Rego: Take caution when finding sexy summer locations

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of The Collegian or its editorial board.

The summertime leads to more sex, and with the beautiful weather it’s tempting to have some fun outdoors. For some of you, maybe this warm weather has got you fired up for something even riskier — something more public.

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Whether the appeal of having a sexual encounter is in hot, steamy car sex parked off of Horsetooth Reservoir or a quickie somewhere on the fairgrounds of Elitch, risqué sex can definitely be risky business.

If caught having sex in public domains, you could be found guilty under Colorado indecent exposure laws and charged with public nudity. First, it’s important to define exactly what that means.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a public space is defined as a place accessible or visible to the public. So while having blatant sex on a picnic table in the park is clearly public, so is having sex in your car at night off of a main road that the public can also equally theoretically access.

State laws regulate what crime one would be charged with and with what penalties. Colorado revised statute section 18-7-301 is public indecency and statute section 18-7-302 is indecent exposure.

If convicted of either public indecency or indecent exposure, you can be required to register as a sex offender.

Public indecency specifically prohibits having sex, exposing intimate parts aside from genitals in a lewd manner, fondling or caressing another’s body in a lewd manner and knowingly exposing genitals to someone in a public place.

Penalties for public indecency include imprisonment up to 6 months and up to $500 in fines. The first offense is generally a class 1 petty offense. Multiple offenses rank it up to a class 1 misdemeanor with additional prison time and fines.

Indecent exposure specifically prohibits knowingly exposing one’s genitals to another, so as to cause alarm or offense, and knowingly masturbating in a public place.

Penalties for indecent exposure include imprisonment up to 18 months and $5,000 in fines. The first offense is a class 1 misdemeanor. However, if there are two prior convictions, this can easily rank up to a class 6 felony. I don’t know about you, but none of these consequences seem like they’d be worth a quickie in a parking lot. 

If convicted of either public indecency or indecent exposure, you can be required to register as a sex offender. Being a registered sex offender not only limits your ability to get a job and where you can live but it also categorizes you with some genuinely horrific human beings.

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It’s up to you to decide whether or not the risks outweigh the benefit. Sometimes it can be worth it to risk the biscuit, but don’t forget that when you are registering yourself as a sex offender.

Shay Rego can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter at @shay_rego.

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