Colorado Revised Statutes 1997 18-9-121. Ethnic Intimidation. (1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, or national origin, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment, and physical harm caused by the activities of individuals and groups. The general assembly further finds that the advocacy of unlawful acts against persons and groups because of a person's or group's race, color, ancestry, religion, or national origin, for the purpose of inciting and provoking bodily injury or damage to property, poses a threat to public order and safety and should be the subject of criminal sanctions. (2) A person commits ethnic intimidation if, with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person's race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, he: (a) Knowingly causes bodily injury to another person; or (b) By words or conduct, knowingly places another person in fear of imminent lawless action directed at that person or that person's property and such words or conduct are likely to produce bodily injury to that person or damage to that person's property; or (c) Knowingly causes damage to or destruction of the property of another person. (3) Ethnic intimidation is a class 1 misdemeanor, except that a violation of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this section is a class 5 felony. (4) The criminal penalty provided int his section for ethnic intimidation does not preclude the victim of such action from seeking any other remedies otherwise available under law. 13-21-106.5 Civil damages for destruction or bodily injury causes by ethnic intimidation. (1) The victim, or a member of the victim's immediate family, is entitled to recover damages from any person, organization, or association who commits or incites others to commit the offense of ethnic intimidation as defined in section 18- 9-121 (2), C.R.S. Such person, organization, or association shall be civilly liable to the victim, or a member of the victim's immediate family for the actual damages, costs, and expenses incurred in connection with said action. For purposes of this section, "immediate family" includes the victim's spouse and the victim's parent, sibling, or child who is living with the victim. (2) A conviction for criminal ethnic intimidation pursuant to section 18-9-21, C.R.S., shall not be a condition precedent to maintaining a civil action pursuant to the provisions of this section. (3) In any civil action brought pursuant to this section in which damages are assessed by a jury, upon proof of the knowledge and intent defined in section 18-9-121 (2) (a) and (2) (c), C.R.S., in addition to the actual damages, the jury may award punitive damages. Said punitive damages shall not be subject to the limitations in section 13-21-102 or section 13-21-102.5. COLORADO LAW IN PERSPECTIVE: LEGAL PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF HATE CRIMES, by Gia Lee, Legal Fellow, Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (footnotes omitted) I. CRIMINAL STATUTES * Colorado includes races, color, ancestry, religion and national origin as protected categories under its bias crime statute. Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 18-9-121 (1997) * Colorado law does not include gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age as protected categories in its bias crime statute. * 25 States and the District of Columbia include gender as a protected category in penalty enhancement and/or independent criminal civil rights statutes. These states include AK, AZ, CA, CT, ID, IL, IN, IA, LA, LA ME, MA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, ND, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY. * 20 states and the District of Columbia include sexual orientation as a protected category in penalty enhancement and/or independent criminal civil rights statutes. These states include AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, IA, LA, ME, MA, MN, NE, NV, NH, NJ, OR, RI, VT, WA and WI. * 23 states and the District of Columbia include disability or handicap as a protected category in penalty enhancement and/or independent criminal civil rights statutes. These states include AL, AK, AZ, CA, CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MA, MN, MT, NE, NV, NJ, OK, RI, VT, WA and WI. * 10 states and the District of Columbia include age as a protected category in penalty enhancement and/or independent criminal civil rights statutes. These states include AK, AZ, CA, IA, KS, LA, MN, MT, NE and VT. * Federal law provides additional criminal statutes under which certain hate crime offenders may be prosecuted. * 18 U.S.C. section 245 prohibits wilful interference by force or threat of force with certain federally protected rights, where such interference is motivated by discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. * 18 U.S.C. section 241 broadly prohibits conspiracies to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any citizen in the free exercise of rights protected by the Constitution of the United States. * 42 U.S.C. section 3631 prohibits wilful interference by force or threat of force with civil rights under the Fair Housing Act due to a person's race, color, religion, sex, handicap, or national origin. * 18 U.S.C. section 242 prohibits wilful deprivation, under color of law, of constitutional and federal statutory rights by reason of race, color, or alienage. II CIVIL REMEDIES * Colorado law provides a civil remedy for victims of hate crimes based on race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin. Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 13-21-106.5 (1997). Victims, or members of their immediate family, may seek compensatory and punitive damages for bodily injury or destruction of property, and may recover costs and expenses incurred in connection with the action. * Federal law provides a civil remedy for victims of gender- motivated crimes of violence. Victims may seek compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive and declaratory relief. The crime must be "committed because of the gender and due -- at least in part -- to an animus based on the victim's gender." Title IV of the Violence Against Women Act, section 40302. * The following federal statutory remedies may also be relevant for hate crime victims: * 42 U.S.C. section 1985(3) imposes civil liability on individuals who conspire to deprive any person or class of persons of "the equal protection of the laws or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws." * 42 U.S.C. section 3617 provides a civil remedy to anyone coerced, threatened, intimidated, or interfered with for exercising particular rights granted under the Fair Housing Act. * 42 U.S.C. section 1981 guarantees that all persons shall have the same right "to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens." * 42 U.S.C. section 1982 ensures that all citizens will have the same right to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, as have white citizens.