Clients are sometimes confused trying to understand what Sexual Exploitation of a Child actually is. So, I thought it would be worthwhile to explain what it takes to be charged with this crime in Denver, Jefferson, or Adams County. Most of the language in the Colorado Sexual Exploitation of a Child Statute, C.R.S. 18-6-403, is spent defining terms. These definitions are extremely important, and yet prosecutors will charge people with this crime even when the definition does not fit nicely. Deputy District Attorneys in Arapahoe, Douglas and Weld County will often bring charges hoping to bluff a defendant into pleading guilty or hoping a jury will overlook key elements of the crime.
DAs and Poker Players
I went to lunch today with a lawyer friend that likes to play poker. He said something that reminds me of how prosecutors do their jobs. My friend said if a person is worried about losing his money, he is certain to lose at poker. Since prosecutors don’t have much at stake, they are not afraid of losing or later offering a “deal” to resolve a weak case. That is what makes them so dangerous. They lose sight of doing the right thing.
What it Takes to be Charged
If a person knowingly possesses photographs, video, or other pornographic images of a child under 18 years old, that person can be charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child. But what does the law consider possession, pornographic or sexually exploitative? Most people have no knowledge of every image stored on their computer. Hidden images are constantly being downloaded when accessing websites. Friends or family members can cause images to be loaded. Yet, prosecutors in Adams, Prowers, and Douglas County will not hesitate to file Sexual Exploitation of a Child charges if an investigation turns up child pornography. Part of our job is to help a jury understand how and why a person may not know they have sexually exploitive material in their possession, which affects “possession”.
Making Sexually Exploitative Material
Another less common way to be charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child is by coercing or permitting a child under 18 to be used in making sexually exploitative material. Under these circumstances, we strive to learn the whole story and make sure prosecutors are held to the strict definition of the statute.
If you are accused of Sexual Exploitation of a Child, you need someone on your side to join you at the defense table. We want to make sure you do not lose in a game where your opponent casually files charges and your life is on the line. Call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.