New Colorado laws take effect

Agritourism, revenge porn and eliminating statutes of limitations on certain sex crimes were only some of the new laws that went into effect this month.

Of the 419 news laws approved by the Colorado Legislature and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, 51 went into effect July 1.

One of those is HB1378, aimed at preventing posting “revenge porn” on the Internet. That involves posting nude or unflattering photos on the Internet by a former sexual partner.

The new law, partially sponsored by Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, creates two new Class 1 misdemeanor crimes for posting what was once a private image or video of a person over the age of 18.

The only exception to that is if the posting is related to a “newsworthy” event, such as the so-called “sexting” scandal of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York.

Lawmakers say the new law will help protect people who were in troubled relationships, and even victims of domestic violence.

Anyone convicted of such a crime could face up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Two other new laws that went into effect this month are aimed at the state’s statute of limitations law.

One, SB213, would extend from five years to 10 the limitation on prosecuting someone in hit-and-run cases that result in death. The other, SB59, would eliminate it altogether on violent felonies, including burglary and kidnapping, that also involve a sexual assault.

“Sexual predators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for all crimes committed, regardless of how much time passes,” said Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton, one of the measure’s sponsors.

Other measures that became law last Tuesday include:

■ HB1372, which makes it a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $100,000 fine for advertising children that parents no longer want for illegal adoption.

■ HB1280, partially sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, that provides liability protection for farmers and ranchers who want to engage in agritourism, such as touring wineries and orchards in Palisade.

■ HB1388, which creates a civil remedy for women who are victims of unlawful termination of a pregnancy as a result of an intentional or reckless action against them. The new law allows them to sue for civil damages.

■ HB1288, which requires all school children to receive immunizations prior to attending a public school, but allowing parents to opt their children out of the requirement after they have been informed about the benefits and pitfalls of certain immunizations.


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Now let’s move forward and get a law banning cell phone use when driving!

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