Image Credit: Pixabay – marcino
We've talked many times about the dangers of smart phones in the hands of teenagers who don't understand they can be charged with a sex crime for “normal” high school behavior. Sexting with other adults is completely legal if you're an adult. But, if you're sharing photos of fellow classmates who aren't eighteen, you'll be charged with a sex offense in Denver, Arapahoe, and Douglas County. I read an article the other day that discussed how the “sex talk” parents have with kids needs to be swapped for a “tech talk,” so kids know the dangers of their devices. Let's take a look at this article and why we think it is wise to talk to your kids about the dangers of sexting and texting.
“Sex Talk” a Thing of the Past: “Tech Talk” is Important
The author of the article notes that the “sex talk” is outdated in more ways than one. For one, children are being exposed to sex at a younger age than ever before (a 10 year old was recently found to be sexting). And second, children are learning about sex through technology – which is much different than past generations. It's simple for kids to stumble across pornography – some statistics say that children are first exposed to pornography around the age of 11. The London School of Economics stated that 9 out of 10 children (between the ages of 8-16) have unintentionally viewed porn online. All this goes to say: If you haven't talked to your child about sex and technology, odds are they've already experienced it firsthand.
Search Terms Reflect Curiosity
The article goes on to say that once kids know how to use Google search, their curiosity gets the best of them. In fact, ‘sex' and ‘porn' have been found to be among the most popular search terms completed by 7-year-olds. Kids have access to smart phones, tablets, and computers, and they know how to use them. Because of this, kids usually are exposed to sexual images and content long before parents have the “sex talk.”
“Tech Talk:” Possible Crimes and Dangers Need to be Discussed as Well
Instead of the “sex talk,” parents need to have the “tech talk,” and explain how easy it is to access sexual images, and why they need to be careful. Limiting screen time is also a wise option. Kids need to know there are predators online who could try to get personal information from them. They also need to know about possible sex charges they could face. One crime is Sexual Exploitation of a Child.
- Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-6-403
This sex offense against minors is charged whenever a person is in possession of pornography which depicts children under the age of 18, entices a child to create sexually explicit material, or distributes any such material. There are a few things that are important to note about this crime:
- Nowhere in the statute does it say a child cannot be charged with this offense.
- Sexually explicit material is illegal, even if it was sent to your child by the “victim.”
Your child could be charged with this offense if they engage in sexting. Let's say your son receives a sexually explicit photo from a girl in his class who likes him and wants to get his attention. He didn't ask for this photo – the girl just texted it to him. Now, your son is in danger of being charged with a sex offense in Adams, El Paso, or Jefferson County. If the police checked his phone or if he shares the photo with a classmate, he could face criminal charges. As you can see, it's not difficutl to be charged with a sex crime – but most kids don't understand the dangers they face.
Why Your Child Needs a Lawyer
If your child has been charged with a sexual offense like Sexual Exploitation of a Child, don't hesitate to contact one of our understanding sex crime lawyers. If your child is adjudicated for a sex offense against a minor, there will be long-lasting consequences. They will be required to go through harsh and invasive sex offender treatment, and would be required to register as a sex offender. Some juvenile offenders must register for life. Make sure your child understands the importance of being wise and careful online, and protect their future by hiring an affordable attorney to defend them in the courtroom.