Have you been a victim of the Child Sex Offender Internet Investigations (CSOII), the Jefferson County District Attorney Office’s program which has arrested over 500 people for internet luring? The slogan of the program, headed by Mike Harris, reads “If you prey on children we will prey on you.” Cops involved in the CSOII set up online profiles of a pretend child under the age of 15. They then enter chat rooms under this persona and search out potential adults who might be using the site to talk with children or meet up with them. As a pretend child, they will suggest an in-person meeting with the on-line contact and use this as a way to catch offenders. Many times, persons on the chat site will travel thousands of miles to meet the pretend child here in Colorado.
Internet Luring of a Child is a serious sex offense in all Colorado counties, including Broomfield, Denver, and Arapahoe County. It occurs most often in chat rooms, but now with new and popular internet social sites like Facebook and Twitter, and devices like iPhones and Android smartphones, there are many opportunities for offenders to contact and engage in explicit sexual conduct with children.
A person commits Internet Luring of a Child (C.R.S. 18-3-306) if they knowingly communicate with, and discuss explicit sexual conduct with, a child who is, or they believe to be, under the age of 15. They must also make any statement which invites or persuades the child to meet with them for any purpose. Finally, the offender must also be more than 4 years older than the child, or what age they believe the child to be. I say “believe the child to be” because some law enforcement officers in Colorado counties like Jefferson County, will pretend to be a child under the age of 15 in hopes of catching a person committing Internet Luring of a Child. This crime is very similar to Enticement of a Child, 18-3-305.
Whether there is an actual child or a pretend child, the punishment is the same. In Colorado counties such as Boulder, Douglas, and Adams County, a person can be convicted of a class 5 felony for this conduct. If there was intent to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual exploitation or sexual contact, then it will be considered a class 4 felony. Each crime will include Colorado’s onerous SOMB sex offender probation and treatment.
If you are facing charges of Internet Luring of a Child, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers today at the O’Malley Law Office at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.