The Elements of this Offense
According to Colorado Statute 18-6-403, a person commits this offense if they cause, induce, entice, or permit a child to “engage in, or be used for, any explicit sexual conduct for the making of any sexually exploitative material” (videos, photos, etc.). In other words, you don't actually have to possess any material – simply asking (enticing) for photos can result in a sex crime charge.
The Dangers of Social Media
The world is changing much faster than we realize. Social media is creating a world where actions don't feel real. You can write harsh words in a message to someone, or mention an acquaintance in a bad light online and destroy their character in mere minutes. Young women who feel left out can make sexual assault accusations and achieve celebrity status overnight. The world is simultaneously becoming larger and smaller. There are more options for bullying and false accusations, but alternatively, everyone is much more connected than in the past. Sex crimes are becoming more and more common: We believe this is because people have a false sense of security online, and fail to be alert. Here are three ways in which we believe the Grand Junction teacher went wrong:
1. Facebook Messaging Students
According to reports, the teacher was messaging students over Facebook. This is never a good idea. A person in a position of trust such as a teacher should always communicate with children and teenagers over official networks, or while around other adults. This is just as much for the protection of the teacher against false accusations as it is for the students.
2. Sexually Explicit Discussions
A mother of one of the teacher's 16-year-old students found the messages in her daughter's profile. In one of the conversations, the teacher asked for nude photos. This can be seen as enticing a child to create sexually explicit material – which is a criminal offense.
3. He Didn't Exercise His Right to Remain Silent
According to reports, when questioned, the teacher admitted to asking several girls for nude photos. This was not a wise decision. People make all kinds of confessions under stress and duress. You should never speak to police without first consulting an experienced criminal lawyer. This is a right you should never give up. Police in Littleton, Centennial, and Aurora often bully or trick people into making statements they later use to get convictions. Sheriff's deputies from Adams, Douglas and Arapahoe County have been known to twist words spoken in “confidence.” Don't tricked into surrendering your right to remain silent.
Sex Crime Charge Involving Children: The Sentence
The teacher has most likely been charged with a class 3 felony. A conviction could result in a sentence to the Colorado Department of Corrections for up to 12 years, sex offender registration and treatment. Don't stand alone in front of a judge or jury. Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience fighting sex crime charges involving children.Request a Free Consultation