In the 25 years we’ve been practicing as Criminal Defense Attorneys in Denver and across Colorado, we have seen a strong upsurge in the number of prosecutions based in internet chat rooms. These prosecutions usually involve men and women arrested for attempted or alleged sexual contact with minors – both in person contact and contact exclusively over the internet.
Special Interest Groups Start the Denver Criminal Entrapment Process
In an effort to please special interest groups who now rule over police, prosecutors, and our Colorado legislative body (House and Senate), the government always wants to appear “tough on crime”. This involves requests to the legislature to make penalties more severe for computer sex crimes and to increase the number of these crimes. As a result we have crimes for talking with kids about sexual things, chatting on line with kids, possessing nude images of kids (via Emule and Limewire Peer to Peer File Sharing Networks) and meetings with kids for a sexual purpose. While I agree that many crimes involving kids are necessary, enforcement tools appear limited to entrapping men and women to increase statistics for police departments, sheriff’s departments and district attorneys. Criminal Defense Attorneys in Denver fight against this powerful and well funded group.
Chat Rooms and Police Entrapment Across Colorado
An example of what I consider entrapment is when police officers enter into ADULT chat rooms posing as kids, who then beat around the bush about meeting for sex. These officers know that adults are there for sexual discussion, so there is a tendency for members of these chat rooms to participate in sexual discussions initiated by police. While the police are required by Colorado law to eventually inform the person they chat with that they are a “child” under fifteen, it is usually a quick mention, followed by descriptions of the pretend child’s interest in all sorts of lurid sexual behavior. In the end, there is an invitation to meet after the officer sets the stage for the meet. An arrest quickly follows in Jefferson County or Douglas County, for Internet Luring or Enticement of a Child. It makes no different whether a meeting occurs or not. This is when Criminal Defense Attorneys usually make their entrance into the case.
Kids are Not Really Protected
The example above is predictable. Officers don’t go to “meet” on-line predators in kids’ chat rooms – they aren’t there. Instead, they go to adult locations on the web and fish for men and women susceptible to their ruse – an oversexed child wanting to meet for sex. Rarely are real kids in these chat rooms discussing adult sexual content. There is no need for police to be there to save kids. No bad guys are out there tracking down kids. Yet, police are out there seeking to trick men and women into agreeing to meet. Police know they need arrests in order to meet goals of federal grants issued by politicians hoping to please special interest groups. Without arrests, local law enforcement agencies cannot justify further money being given them to combat this largely nonexistent problem.
Courts, Police and District Attorneys Protect Each Other
There is an industry wide motivation behind this waste of tax dollars. Special interest groups lobby for money to stop the child sex abuse problem. Legislators make it available to avoid criticism from these voters. Police agencies want money to help with their budgets to pay for officers and their equipment. District Attorneys prosecute anything that is sent their way to keep police happy – afterall, this is where they get 100% of their cases. Without cases, district attorney offices in Arapahoe County and Denver County will have to lay off lawyers and prosecutors. Court staff seek to protect judges by not criticizing what the DA’s are doing. It is a vicious cycle where everyone in government is feeding off the unfortunate men and women unlucky enough to be on-line when the pretend “child” contacts them.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Make a Difference in Sex Crimes Cases
We defend citizens from government abuse. Our Criminal Defense Lawyers are good at it, because we understand the big picture and what motivates each participant in the system. While many DA’s don’t like us because we are so effective in jury trials, they respect our abilities. Often, if there is strong evidence against our client, we are able to work out a favorable plea bargain which will guard a parent’s contact with their kids or enable a worker to return to their job. We can also work out favorable bonds for release from the Denver County Jail, so family life can continue.
If you have been contacted by police, never give a statement or answer their questions. Never sign a content to search form or give permission for them to search your computers. Instead, remain silent and call our Criminal Defense Attorneys 24 hours a day at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.