Teague v. ColoradoAnnotate this Case
In a combined opinion, the Colorado Supreme Court addressed whether sexual offenders had to bear the cost of their victims’ forensic medical examinations as criminal restitution. The General Assembly authorized recovery of “extraordinary direct public . . . investigative costs,” courts of appeals have disagreed as to whether the cost of a victim’s SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) examination was “extraordinary.” As both a medical and investigative response to a sexual offense, a SANE exam necessarily performs dual roles: as a valuable tool for collecting sexual-assault evidence; and also as a patient-centered medical procedure sensitive to victims’ treatment needs, conducted by medical personnel, and limited to the scope of victims’ informed consent. The Supreme Court concluded the hybrid nature of these exams rendered them (and their resulting costs) extraordinary, and the state may recover those costs as restitution. The Court thus affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals in Colorado v. Teague, No. 10CA2358 (Colo. App. Nov. 27, 2013) (not published pursuant to C.A.R. 35(f)), and reversed the judgment of the court of appeals in Colorado v. Rogers, 2014 COA 110, __ P.3d __. Accordingly, the Court reinstated the district court’s restitution award in Rogers.