Today's teenagers are walking a fine line. The combination of the increase of technology, and our culture's obsession with self and sex, creates a dangerous environment. Every teenager you see has a cell phone with a camera. And, with sexting becoming more and more popular, the danger increases for children to be charged with sex crimes. Sexy selfies can have serious consequences if they meet the elements of Sexual Exploitation of a Child. And, even if an actual crime isn't committed in Denver, Adams, or Jefferson County, your life could be changed forever. Let's take a look at one young woman who has found out the hard way that sexy selfies can end in tears.
Sexy Selfies for a Boyfriend Released to the World[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]She unwillingly became one of the most recognized young sex symbols on the internet.[/pullquote]This is the story of a young woman who found out the hard way that sexy selfies can end in life-changing consequences. For the sake of the story, and to help put a stop to the harassment, we're not going to use her real name. Instead, we'll call her “Leah.” Leah was 14, and she was excited because she had a boyfriend. This was her first boyfriend, and she wanted to impress him. So, she snapped a bunch of sexy selfies – photos featuring scantily clad outfits and underwear. She stored the images online with password protection so only her boyfriend could browse them. Then, the unthinkable happened: Her account was hacked. Her photos were distributed across the internet, and suddenly she was famous. In fact, she is one of the most recognized young sex symbols on the internet – but not because she wanted to be.
Sexy Selfies aren't Technically Illegal[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left” width=”25%”]None of the photos were illegal, so they can't be removed.[/pullquote]Leah and her parents quickly tried to take legal action to have her photos removed from the internet. But, her photos aren't a crime. Even though she was 14 at the time the photos were taken, they aren't child pornography. This is because none of the photos are nudes, and none of them are explicit. If they were, anyone who was in possession of them would be charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-6-403. Even her boyfriend having the photos on his phone or computer would be charged with a sex offense. So, even though the photos are borderline criminal, nothing can be done to remove them from the internet. Leah's photos are still traded and shared by people all over the world.
Talk to Your Kids about the Dangers of Sexting in Colorado
It's important that you talk to your kids about the dangers of sexting and sharing sexy selfies with their friends in Douglas, Arapahoe, and El Paso County. I have defended juvenile clients who were charged with a sex crime after simply receiving an unsolicited explicit photo from a girl who likes them. Even if criminal charges are never filed, the consequences of nude or semi-nude photos can be life-changing. Leah will have to explain to potential employers and friends why porn sites pop up when you type her name into Google. Protect your kids from criminal charges and other consequences. Talk to them about the dangers of sexting and sharing explicit photos.Request a Free Consultation