There are far too many news stories I've read where men and women are charged after an undercover police investigation. In fact, according to a recent news story I read, a 47-year-old man was caught in an undercover police sting and arrested shortly after. Why? He allegedly agreed to meet an undercover investigator who pretended to be an underage teen on a social networking site. When the 47-year-old contacted the pretend child, he asked her to show him her intimate parts over webcam. He then showed her a sexually graphic video of himself. Afterwards, he made arrangements in a rental car to drive and meet her. He also described the sexual activities they would engage in when meeting. In Denver and Douglas County, he could now be charged with Internet Luring of a Child, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, and Criminal Attempt Sexual Assault on a Child.
Gilpin County Internet Luring of a Child
A person can be charged with Gilpin County Internet Luring of a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-306, for communicating with a person the actor knows or believes is under fifteen years of age over a computer or computer network, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message. In this communication, they must describe explicit sexual conduct and try to persuade or invite the person to meet them for any purpose. The actor must also be more than four years older than the person or than the age they believe the person to be.
The news story didn't explicitly say what the investigator said the pretend child's age was, but if pretending to be a child under fifteen years old and the 47-year-old knew the age, he could be charged with Internet Luring of a Child. He was allegedly communicating with the pretend child over a computer, described explicit sexual conduct, and invited the pretend child to meet him. He also would qualify for being more than four years older than the pretend child.
Asking to See Intimate Parts Could Lead to Adams County Internet Sexual Exploitation Charges
The man could also be charged with Adams County Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-405.4, if he importuned, invited or enticed a person under fifteen years of age and at least four years younger than him to:
- Expose or touch the person's own or another person's intimate parts while communicating with him over a computer network or system, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message; or
- Observe his intimate parts over a computer network or system, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message
For asking or enticing the pretend teen to show her intimate parts over webcam, and for showing the pretend teen his intimate parts in a video, he meets the elements of Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child.
Denver Sexual Assault on a Child – Still Charged Even When Attempted Sexual Assault
Denver and Englewood Sexual Assault on a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-405, is charged whenever someone knowingly subjects another person (who's not his or her spouse) to any sexual contact. The victim must be less than fifteen years of age and the actor must be at least four years older than the victim.
For trying to engage in sexual activities with the pretend teen, the man could also be charged with Criminal Attempt Sexual Assault on a Child. Criminal Attempt, C.R.S. 18-2-101, is committed if:
“…acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for commission of an offense, a person engages in conduct constituting a substantial step toward the commission of the offense.”
The important piece of this statute is the “substantial step” language. This is a broad term that's up to the prosecutors to prove. Denver prosecutors in this man's case might say because he arranged for a rental car to drive and meet the child, it would be considered a substantial step toward the commission of Sexual Assault on a Child. If the undercover investigator stated an age of the child under fifteen years old, the man could be charged for trying to subject the underage child to sexual contact. Sexual contact is another broad term that includes touching intimate parts that are clothed or unclothed, for sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.
In Colorado Sex Crimes, Age is Important
As you can see, each one of these sex crimes requires a child to be under fifteen years of age and the actor to be at least or more than four years older than the child. Police in online undercover investigations must state an age in order for you to be convicted of one of these harsh sex offenses in Denver and across Colorado. Whenever going online to meet people, always stay away from chat rooms or conversations involving children. It's way too easy to be charged or accused of any of these sex crimes after having a conversation with a child involving sexual content. If you have been accused or charged with Internet Luring of a Child, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, or Sexual Assault on a Child anywhere in Colorado, contact our criminal defense lawyers immediately.Request a Free Consultation