Police Pose as Children in Online Stings
Greenwood Village, Thornton, and Lone Tree police officers often pose as children under the age of 15 in chat rooms online. They join adult chat rooms and get into discussions with men. During the conversation, they are sure to mention that they are under the age of 15. They will also discuss sex and other sexual acts (defined in the statute as “explicit sexual conduct) openly in an effort to entrap men. Many of our clients have told us they didn't pay attention when the undercover officer said they were 14, or thought they were role-playing, so they engaged in a sexual conversation. In order to be charged with Internet Luring, an invitation to meet for any purpose must be made to the underage “child.” Once this occurs, the police will be able to charge Internet Luring.[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”40%”]Police pose as underage children in adult chat rooms to find alleged “child predators.”[/pullquote]
Internet Allows the Police to “ Fish ” Nationwide
A person living in another state who discusses explicit sexual conduct and makes an invitation to meet with an underage child (the undercover cop) can be arrested, even though they don't live in the same state as the fictional victim. Because the “child” they were chatting with allegedly lives in the state of Colorado, the police are able to obtain a Colorado warrant and then contact the local law enforcement in the state where the suspect lives; the suspect will be arrested and extradited to Larimer, Arapahoe, or Douglas County.
The Sentence for Internet Luring and a Possible Defense
Internet Luring is a class 5 felony in most circumstances. If the intent of the meeting was to engage in sexual contact or Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-6-403, then it is a class 4 felony. Regardless of the level of offense, a person who is convicted of this crime in Boulder, Jackson, or Park County will be sentenced for an indeterminate amount of time, whether probation or DOC. They will also be required to register as a sex offender, and go through SOMB sex offender treatment. These consequences are life-changing and harsh. Because of this, it is vital to work with an experienced attorney who can defend your future. A possible defense which could be used by your criminal lawyer is entrapment. To use this defense, we must prove you would never have engaged in a sexual conversation and invitation, without the police having set the trap. This defense cannot be used in many situations, but an experienced criminal lawyer will be able to determine if it is possible in your specific case.Request a Free Consultation