Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime: Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Jun 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

The punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime when it comes to Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child in Colorado. Learn more in our blog.
Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-405.4, is a sex offense in Denver, Adams, and Jefferson County. We feel it is less serious in some respects than the crime of Indecent Exposure – C.R.S. 18-7-302, but the second crime is a misdemeanor, while the first is a felony. So, what's the difference between the two? As we look closer at these two sex offenses, we'll see that the punishment doesn't fit the crime when it comes to Internet Sexual Exploitation.

Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child: Exposure Online

Simply put, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child can be charged when a person sends nude images to a child under the age of 15, or asks a child to send them an image of their own intimate parts over the internet or using a phone. This sex offense is often charged after people get comfortable and feel anonymous online, so they violate boundaries and go too far. Internet Sexual Exploitation is a class four felony, which carries up to 8 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Indecent Exposure: Exposure In-Person

Indecent Exposure is charged whenever a person exposes their genitals in public to another person. Indecent Exposure is a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to 24 months in the Denver County Jail.

Stop and Think: It Doesn't Make Sense

A thought occurred to me just the other day as I pondered these two crimes. If a man sends nude pictures of himself to a child in a chat room, he could be charged with a felony and end up spending up to 8 years in prison. Yet, if this same man approaches a child in a park and exposes his genitals, he can only be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to two years in jail. This doesn't make sense. Lawmakers have gotten caught up in pleasing sexual assault victim's advocates and have let common sense pass them by.

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”70%”]Why is in-person nudity less serious than online nudity?[/pullquote]

In-person exposure is much more harmful for children than online exposure. With movies and the internet, nudity is becoming less and less shocking. All it takes for a child to see nude images online is to type a short phrase into a search engine. But, a man exposing himself in-person to a child is much more dangerous. A person committing Indecent Exposure poses more danger to a child – to hurt the child, all they have to do is reach out and touch them. When compared with Internet Sexual Exploitation, it is ridiculous to assume in-person exposure is less serious. If a person committing Internet Sexual Exploitation in Arapahoe, El Paso, or Douglas County wanted to physically harm a child, they would have to arrange to meet them. They can't be easily touched or taken away.

The Punishment Doesn't Fit the Crime

The punishment doesn't fit the crime when it comes to Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child. This is a problem, because there are men and women across our country who have been charged with felonies for less serious conduct. We need to fight for penalties that fit the crime so we don't punish people unjustly. This is why you need to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime. Sex offenses aren't handled logically by our court system. If you don't' have an advocate, you are more likely to get lost in the shuffle and treated more harshly than you deserve. There is hope if you have been charged with a sex crime – our experienced criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended hundreds of people and protected their future.

Request a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

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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