While Sexual Exploitation of a Child was once limited to child porn distributors, it has morphed into a favorite charge by Denver, Jefferson and Douglas County police and sheriff deputies against boys who have received pictures from girls over their phones a/k/a Sexting. Girls are sending pictures of themselves in a state of undress after solicitation from boys and often after no request from the boys.
Crime vs. No Crime
I am aware of the need for a law of this type to stop child pornography. I disagree with using this law to punish boys who are sent pictures by girls posing nude. Child pornography involves men victimizing children, not girls propositioning boys. There is a difference between a man shopping for, or creating naked pictures of young children, and high school girls willingly sending pictures of themselves to classmates. Why can’t the Colorado legislature recognize the difference?
These Kids Aren’t Sex Offenders
While we don’t want children to be victims of sex offenders in Arapahoe, Adams and Broomfield County, why should we create sex offenders out of normal boys and girls? The sex offender label is so damaging that we should only use it as a last resort. I have represented boys who are required by the government to go through sex offender treatment, go into isolation at school, and be constantly watched by their parents, all because of sexting among peers. This is especially ridiculous when the girl who took the picture of herself voluntarily sent it to the boy!
Misuse of Needed Laws
Every law we have on the books in Colorado can be used by law enforcement for its intended purpose, and it can be used abusively for other purposes. Police in our state need to stop charging kids for being kids – for career advancement statistics. The Denver legislative body who makes laws should find a more appropriate way to charge kids for innocent conduct. Whatever they do, they should insist that children are set up to fail by labeling them sex offenders.
If you or your child has been charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child, call our experienced attorneys and lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.