Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Oops – You Sexted the Wrong Person? You Could be Charged with a Sex Offense

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | May 06, 2014 | 0 Comments

sexting lawyer

“Sexting” is common in this day and age. What many people don't understand is the many dangers involved in this behavior. If a nude or explicit photo is sent to the wrong person, you could be charged with internet sexual exploitation of a child. It is common to realize you sexted the wrong person in Denver, Adams, and Douglas County. Let's take a look at how easy it is to be charged with a serious sex offense:

Sexting is Common Practice in the Modern World

In a recent study conducted by Scientific American, it was found that 96% of people use their phones to take photos, which isn't surprising. What is shocking, however, is how many people use their phones to send nude photos, or discuss explicit sexual content (this is called sexting): 49% of adults participate in sexting, and 50% save the provocative texts, photos and videos they received on their device. Most sexting occurs between couples, but 16% of people said they shared nude photos or explicit texts with complete strangers. Of all the age groups, the 18-24 year old crowd is the keenest on sexting – 70% in this age group report receiving sexually suggestive photos and messages.

Sexting the Wrong Person is Common

In a poll run by a British phone company, it was discovered that 11% of people who participate in sexting have sent the sexually explicit content to the wrong person. That is one out of ten people who sext. While this can be embarrassing (I'm sure you're grandmother wasn't appreciative of that photo), it can also be dangerous if your text is sent to someone under the age of 15.

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”60%”]70% of 18-24 year old's have received sexually suggestive photos and messages.[/pullquote]

Internet Sexual Exploitation: Charged Often as a Result of Sexting

Internet sexual exploitation of a child is charged in Arapahoe, Jefferson, and El Paso County when a person sends a sexually explicit photo of themselves to a child under the age of 15 using a computer network, or over the phone. It is also charged when a person requests that a child send a sexually explicit photo of themselves. In order to be charged, a person must be more than 4 years older than the child.

An Example of Sexting Gone Wrong

Let's say a 19-year-old man decides to send a sexually explicit photo to his girlfriend. He takes a picture, adds a few suggestive words, and sends it off. He realizes with horror, that instead of sending it to his girlfriend, he accidentally sent it to the high school student he is tutoring. She is 14. This is a costly mistake. If the girl decides to report his behavior (or her parents do), he could be charged with a serious sex offense which requires registration as a sex offender, and harsh sex offender treatment overseen by the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB).

It can be difficult to find a job or housing as a registered sex offender, and the social stigma can be difficult to overcome. The police and District Attorney aren't likely to understand a mistake regarding sexting. They often overlook evidence and fight hard for convictions when cases involve children – even when the defendant has been charged as a result of a small mistake.

Don't stand alone in front of a judge or jury and try to defend yourself. Contact an experienced sex crimes attorney to fight on your behalf. We know how District Attorneys think, and we will fight hard to get the best possible outcome in your case, avoid sex offender registration, and keep you out of treatment.

Request a Free Consultation

Don't talk to police about criminal charges surrounding sexting - talk to us. 303-830-0880

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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