More than one time, we have represented teenagers and adults for charges of Internet Luring related to texting and sexting in Arapahoe County or Douglas County. In common, there were either provocative photos sent / received, or sexual discussions. Surprisingly, the District Attorneys prosecuting the cases were not concerned that our clients might have simply received a text with an explicit photo attached. They were only concerned that the child depicted in the photo was under 18. In one instance, the teenage girl sending the photo to our client is seen in the photo standing in front of the mirror taking the photo of herself! Despite the fact that our client did not ask for the photo, or know it was coming, he was charged with a sex crime because he had the photo on his cell phone.
I for one believe something has gone terribly wrong when a girl can “sext” a photo to a teenage boy, and HE is charged for having the photo on his cell phone. Why not charge the girl too? My experience is that the government needs a “victim” to prosecute others, and they don't want to anger their “victim” in this or any other type of crime. Routinely in Denver, Jefferson, and Adams County, I see cases where a woman is just as culpable as the man, yet since she called police first, they arrest the man and charge him. She faces no charges even if it is crystal clear she could be convicted. The bottom line is the DA needs a “victim” who is happy to come to court and testify on behalf of the government. There is nothing that can spoil a DA's verdict like an alleged victim angry at the government.
Back to sexting. Charges from sexual discussion or explicit photos range from Internet Luring, Enticement of a Child, to Sexual Exploitation of a Child. In many instances, the government does not care whether the person who does the sexting is an adult or a child. They don't care whether the recipient of the sext had just sent ten sexts herself and invited a response. They don't even care whether the girl who sent the photograph of herself sent the photo without permission to the boy recipient. We have experience where only the age of the girl – as the government's “victim” – matters. That is simply not right.
If you are being investigated for sexting or texting, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.