The Sexting craze continues, as kids think they are in a private setting when sending nude or naked pictures of themselves to friends over cell phones. In reality, they are inter-connected to a spider-web of thousands of cell phones and internet sites all over the world. In under a second of carelessness, a friend (or exfriend) can forward the photograph around the world – and to every faculty and student member of the local high school.
Sexting Can be a Form of Sexual Exploitation
Sexting in Douglas County, Jefferson County and Arapahoe County is technically a form of Sexual Exploitation of a Child, C.R.S. 18-6-403, a sex crime felony. While technically a nude picture is not always sexually exploitative material (which requires some type of sexual activity by the child in the photo), prosecutors and police ignore the distinction. They believe the law states that any child nudity qualifies – while it clearly does not. To be precise, the U.S. Supreme Court has even stated, “The Ohio statute, on its face, purports to prohibit the possession of “nude” photographs of minors. We have stated that depictions of nudity, without more, constitute protected expression. See Ferber, supra, at 765, n. 18.” Osborne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 103, 112, 110 S.Ct. 1691 (1990).
Many Sexting Photos Meet the Definition of Sexual Exploitation
Be aware that many Sexting texts involve more than just nudity in Denver, Adams and El Paso County. Whether in a video or still photograph, they depict the child engaged in sexual behavior. This content opens the door for an adult or juvenile court filing, depending on the nature of the text photo and what occurred after a student received it. For example, we once defended a young boy who was charged after receiving an UNSOLICITED photo of a girl. In another case, we defended a boy who requested the photo and then forwarded it to many friends. The first boy’s case was dismissed, while the second case was seen as more serious and required some work to make go away. The district attorney felt the second boy promoted the photo to others and that doing so was worse than just receiving it.
Sexting flirts with serious felony sexual crime charges which can last a lifetime. Don’t let your child be hamstrung for life as a sexual offender required to take SOMB sex offender classes and register as a sex offender. Call us before permitting police to examine a cell phone or computer. Finally, always remain silent when police ask questions of you or your child. Together, we can protect your future.