Earlier this year, I came across a story about an Arapahoe County man who faced Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child charges after a police sting. This didn't surprise me; police sting operations are increasingly common throughout Colorado as police departments seek federal grants to supplement their budgets. Let's look at a few elements of this crime and why most people arrested for this offense were caught as the result of a police sting.
Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child Charges: A Closer Look
Put simply, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-405.4, is charged whenever these two elements are met:
- A person communicates online or over the phone (chatroom, text message, social media, etc.) with a child who they know to be under the age of 15, and
- During this communication, the person invites or entices the child to expose or touch their own (or another person's) intimate parts, or observe the person's intimate parts.
Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child is a class 4 felony in Douglas, Adams, and Denver County. This crime is also subject to indeterminate sentencing, which means a person can be sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections for 2 years to life. A conviction also requires sex offender treatment (overseen by the Sex Offender Management Board), and registration as a sex offender.[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”80%”]Undercover police officers pose as children online.[/pullquote]
Police Stings Result in Internet Sexual Exploitation Charges
Police stings are commonly used throughout Douglas, El Paso, and Lincoln County for internet sex crimes. This is because an undercover police officer can easily pretend to be a 14-year-old girl in an internet chat room. In fact, police officers all over the state receive grants to fund their sting operations. They focus on catching the “bad guy,” but fail to understand one thing: Most cases of Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child are victimless. There is not an actual young person put at risk. These types of victimless crimes, often involving Entrapment, are filling up our prisons and clogging our courts. Our criminal justice system could be working to help real victims, but instead, is focusing on victimless crimes for which they can receive grants to keep their jobs, and buy the latest police equipment, new patrol cars, uniforms, and weapons.
Facing Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child Charges? Call Us Now
Have you been charged with Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child as a result of a police sting operation? Do you think you may have been entrapped by police? Don't hesitate to contact one of our excellent criminal defense attorneys. We have years of experience in the courtroom, and we have a thorough understanding of criminal law in Littleton, Aurora, and Arvada. Don't stand alone in front of a judge or jury – work with an advocate who will fight hard in your defense. Getting your case dismissed or an acquittal at trial is our top priority – we fight to win.Request a Free Consultation