A Colorado Springs man was arrested by the Breckenridge police in Summit County, Colorado, on allegations that he had sex with a 12 year-old facebook friend. He has been charged with Internet Exploitation of a Child (C.R.S. 18-3-405.4) and Sex Assault on a Child (C.R.S. 18-3-405). The 22 year old man was booked into the Summit County Jail and was able to post bond. He will face charges in the 4th Judicial District Court, which encompasses Colorado Springs and El Paso County, and is where he allegedly had sex with this young girl and comitted Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child.
The age of consent has become blurry in our overly sexualized culture, and can lead to charges of Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child. If you meet someone on the internet, how can you tell that they are a child if they look like, act like, and claim to be an adult? The age of consent in Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson County, Colorado is technically 17, however, a 17 year old cannot consent to a person who is in a "position of trust" until the age of 18. There are also the "close in age" exceptions, which allow those who are 15 and 16 to consent to those no more that 10 years older than them, and those who are under 15 to consent to those who are not more than 4 years older. These exceptions are sometimes known as "Romeo and Juliet" laws.
The biggest misunderstanding we see as criminal defense attorneys is that people charged with these types of crimes in Adams, Denver, and Broomfield County believe that the age of consent is 17 without exception. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a 28 year old teacher to believe that his or her 17 year old student can consent to having a sexual relationship. Because a teacher is in a position of trust, the student cannot consent at 17.
At the O'Malley Law Office we are criminal defense experts in handling sexually based charges. If you are facing charges because a person you met on the internet led you to believe they were an adult, we can help. When you are contacted by the Aurora, Westminster, or Thornton Police on suspicion of Internet Exploitation or Sexual Assault, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.