“Sexting” is a new word that describes the sending and receiving of sexually explicit material with a cell phone and covers many sex offense crimes involving juveniles and teens. While using a cell phone to “sext,” juveniles commit sex offenses like Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-6-403), Internet Luring of a Child, (CRS 18-3-306), or Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (18-3-405.4), in Denver, Arapahoe, Adams, Jefferson, Douglas, Larimer, or Weld County. Middle school or high school age kids probably do not understand the seriousness of sexting, but severe criminal charges can result from this conduct and their lives may be ruined.
Juvenile Sexting: Teens Need to Be Careful
Juvenile sexting is a fad that came about after cell phones became popular. Kids use their cell phone to engage in a sexual discussion that may include sending nude pictures with their boy friend or girl friend or even an adult. Teens need to be extremely cautious of images they send to anyone. Once a sext is sent, the information can be distributed electronically to thousands of people all over the world. Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Internet Luring of a Child may be committed over a telephone network and any sext sent from a cell phone means that that child can be charged with these crimes.
Sexting Doesn’t Have to Be Visual – Explicit Language is Enough
Sexting does not have to contain a picture; it may just be a sexually explicit conversation. This still qualifies as a sex crime. Any type of communication with someone fourteen or younger that includes “explicit sexual conduct” and an invitation or persuasion to meet over a telephone network qualifies as Internet Luring (CRS 18-3-306). This crime is broad in that it may be committed over many mediums and defines “explicit sexual conduct” as masturbation, sexual excitement, sadomasochism, intercourse, and erotic fondling or nudity among others.
Police Stings and Juvenile Sexting
Many times, Police in Englewood, Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Arvada, Castle Rock, Denver, Greeley, Fort Collins, or Lakewood pose as children under fifteen and stage a sting operation to see if juveniles are engaging in dangerous behavior. After sexting has occurred, the police will take the phones from teens and use them as evidence to prove charges like Sexual Exploitation of a Child, even if the teens are considered to be children themselves. Never let your child have or send any type of nude photos or sexually explicit dialogue on their cell phones.
Viewing or Possessing Sexual Content is Enough
Even the viewing of sexual content can lead to child sex offender registration and mandatory Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) classes. They may lose contact with children, including their friends, peers, or even brothers and sisters. Crimes resulting from “sexting” like Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, Internet Luring of a Child, or Indecent Exposure are sex offenses in Colorado. The person convicted must register as a sex offender and obey harsh sex offender treatment rules of the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB).