‘Sexting’ is growing more and more common in this digital age. Teens, adults, and even children as young as ten years old engage in this new behavior. But, what might seem harmless can lead to serious criminal charges in Arapahoe, El Paso, and Jefferson County; one of these crimes is Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-405.4. This serious sex offense has long-term consequences, so it’s wise to know how you are charged, and what to do if you’ve been contacted by the police.
What is Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child?
Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child is charged when a person asks a person under the age of 15 years old to send them sexually explicit photos or videos, over the phone, or online, or shares sexually explicit photos with the minor. The actual definition is as follows:
“An actor commits internet sexual exploitation of a child if the actor knowingly importunes, invites, or entices through communication via a computer network or system, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message, a person whom the actor knows or believes to be under fifteen years of age and at least four years younger than the actor, to:
(a) Expose or touch the person’s own or another person’s intimate parts while communicating with the actor via a computer network or system, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message; or
(b) Observe the actor’s intimate parts via computer network or system, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message.”
Image Credit: Pixabay – OpenClips
What is Sexting, and How Does it Relate to the Crime?
The definition of sexting is:
“The exchange of self-generated sexually explicit images, through mobile picture messages or webcams over the internet.”
More and more people are sexting than in the past. And, children are adopting this new behavior in droves. In fact, sexting is considered to be a part of normal life – a form of flirting. A representative from NNSPCC (the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) has this to say about the common nature of sexting:
“What we’re seeing is that there is a very regular and normal consumption of hardcore adult pornography – that the sharing of explicit sexual imagery by photos or by video clips is now extremely normal, so I think it’s important to recognise what was previously regarded as unusual, concerning, or sensationalist, now has in fact become the norm.”
In other words, today’s children are growing up thinking that the sharing of sexually explicit images and media is normal. And, the lines are becoming blurred between childhood and adulthood. This is dangerous for both children and adults in Douglas, Adams, and Denver County.
How You (Or Your Kids) Can be Charged with a Sex Crime
It’s not difficult to be charged with Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child. All it takes is for an adult to text a young person, and ask them to send a naked photo of themselves. Or, it can be charged when an adult sends a teen under the age of 15 a sexually explicit photo of themselves. Young children are engaging in sexting, and lines between adulthood and childhood are blurred. A 19-year-old could be charged with this serious sex offense for sexting a mature 14-year-old. Today’s society has made pornography normal, but the laws don’t reflect this change.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child
If you have received a ticket or a summons for Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (common after police sting operations), or you have been contacted by the police, it is important that you remain silent when speaking with officers. Everything you say to them will be used against you, and your words will be twisted and misused. Contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer immediately to begin planning your defense. Your future is on the line: Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child is subject to Colorado’s indeterminate sentencing. If you are convicted, you may be sentenced for 2 years to life in the Department of Corrections. Don’t hesitate – contact a passionate criminal defense attorney who fights to win.