Let's Take a Closer Look at the Internet Sexual Exploitation Statute:
According to the statute, a person will be charged with this sex offense if they are:
- Communicating by electronic media (such as a phone or computer) with a child under the age of 15;
- And they themselves are 4 years or more older than the child;
- And the older person invites (during the communication) the child to touch their own (or another person's) intimate parts, or view the intimate parts of the older person.
So, in other words – if an adult asks a child to touch their own (or another person's) intimate parts, or to expose (to no one) their own intimate parts while communicating through a text message or social media site, they will be charged with Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Obviously, it is important to understand the definition of “intimate parts,” which is:
“…the external genitalia or the perineum or the anus or the buttocks or the pubes or the breast of any person.” – C.R.S. 18-3-401 (2)
The Dangerous Implications of this Sloppy Law
Now, we'll look at hypotheticals of how dangerous this law really is. According to Colorado law, it is a class 4 felony sex offense in Larimer, Douglas, and Adams County for an 18 year old girl to:
- Text a 14-year-old classmate in anger, telling her to “kiss my ass.”
- Take a picture of herself mooning the camera, and send it as a joke to a 13-year-old friend.
- Ask a 13-year-old boy to touch his own chest (“breast of any person”) while talking on the phone.
The consequences of a conviction of Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child are devastating. A person who is convicted of this sex offense will have to face three severe consequences:
– Indeterminate Sentencing:
Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child is subject to Colorado's indeterminate sentencing laws, which mean a judge doesn't set an upper limit to the amount of time the person will spend in prison. Instead, their release depends on a decision from the Colorado Parole Board.
– Sex Offender Treatment:
If convicted of Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, a person will be required to undergo sex offender treatment overseen by the harsh Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). The SOMB treats every sex offender the same – whether they are a serial rapist or an 18 year old boy who sent a picture of himself mooning the camera to a younger boy as a joke. Sex offender treatment is harsh and difficult to complete.
– Sex Offender Registration:
As if the possibility of life in prison and undergoing invasive treatment isn't enough, if a person is convicted of Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, they will be required to register as a sex offender. Being a registered sex offender greatly affects the ability of someone to get ahead in life, and the rules are difficult to follow.
The Internet Sexual Exploitation Law is Ridiculous
A good person can be charged with a sex offense in Littleton, Aurora, and Centennial. A good person can be sent to prison for the rest of their life. According to Colorado law, if a man texts a boy across the pool to take off his shirt (expose the breast of any person), he could be charged with a sex offense. If you have been charged with Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child in Colorado, you need to fight for your future. You need to protect yourself from this overly broad and ridiculous law. Don't hesitate to contact one of our experienced criminal lawyers who understand and can fight on your behalf.Request a Free Consultation