In recent news, a soldier has been arrested under suspicion of Sexual Exploitation of a Child. He was arrested in another state, but will likely be extradited to Summit County, where the charges originated. When I read this article, I was surprised to see the charges he was arrested for – I would have thought he would have been charged with Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Let's look at the story, and both crimes to see what I mean.
Blackmail for Nude Pictures
According to the news, a soldier at an Army boot camp met a 12-year-old girl online. During their conversations, he allegedly asked her to send him nude pictures of herself. She refused to send the photos, so he allegedly tried to blackmail her – saying he would take a photo he already had of her, and Photoshop it onto a naked body, before sending it to her friends. Now, he is facing Sexual Exploitation of a Child charges.
What is Sexual Exploitation of a Child?
Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-6-403, is a sexual offense in Adams, Douglas, and Broomfield County. It is charged whenever a person is found to be in possession of sexually explicit materials involving a child under the age of 18 years. While the soldier may have been in possession of child porn, he wasn't successful in obtaining nude photos of the girl. So, why was he arrested for Sexual Exploitation of a Child? A closer look at the statute reveals the following:
A person will be charged if they:
“Knowingly…cause, induce, entice, or permit a child to engage in, or be used for, any explicit sexual conduct for the making of any sexual exploitative material.”
In other words, simply enticing the girl to send the photos can lead to his arrest for Sexual Exploitation of a Child. This crime is charged as either a class 6 or class 4 felony.
Another Possible Charge: Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Another possible charge would be Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-405.4, in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County. It is charged when a person asks a minor to send a sexually explicit photo of themselves over the internet, computer, text, or instant message. Simply asking for a photo will result in charges. This crime is a class 4 felony sex offense in Colorado.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Sexual Exploitation Charges
Even though these two crimes seem very similar, there is one big difference: Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child is subject to indeterminate sentencing, while Sexual Exploitation of a Child is not. Indeterminate sentencing means that a judge can sentence a person from the minimum sentencing requirement (which, in this case, is 2 years) up to life in the Colorado Department of Corrections. A person's release is dependent on completion of sex offender treatment (and there aren't enough treatment providers in DOC), and a decision from the Colorado Parole Board. Sexual Exploitation of a Child carries a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison. There is a big difference in the sentences, but the crimes are very similar. Often, the decision of how to charge someone is up to the District Attorney. If you've been charged with Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, it is important to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney. Often, we are able to arrange plea agreements to a lesser sentence so you avoid the indeterminate sentence. If you've been charged with either of these offense, be sure to contact one of the best criminal defense lawyers immediately.Request a Free Consultation
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