The internet has created amazing opportunities in our world. With these great opportunities, however, also comes the opportunity for some to exploit and damage lives. In the past few years, there have been many cases of what is called “cyber-bullying.” Cyber-bullying is bullying that occurs using electronic technology, such as computers and cell phones, often through social media sites and text messages. Cyber-bullying is when a person (usually a teen) is threatened, harassed, humiliated and targeted by another person using cruel texts, emails, embarrassing pictures, or videos. Sex crimes in Douglas and Jefferson County are often charged in connection with this bullying, and it is wise to be aware of what can happen if an image is sent to your phone or computer, and how it could implicate you in a crime.
Cyber-Bullying, Technology and Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Cyber-bullying and sex crimes can be committed much more easily in today's modern world. Research shows that 58% of kids age 13-17 now own smartphones. One year ago, that percentage was 36%. The rise in smartphone usage, combined with utilization of social media and the internet has caused an increase in cyber-bullying and sex crimes. The following two stories illustrate the dangers of sexual images being passed around:
Last fall, a girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by three boys, who then distributed photos throughout the school that they had taken during the assault. After months of bullying, the girl took her own life. The three boys are facing charges, but the people who repeated the distribution of the photos could face charges as well.
In another case, a young girl committed suicide after pictures of a gang rape were circulated around her school for months. Those who were in possession of those photos could be facing felony charges, even if they had nothing to do with the sexual assault itself.
The possession or control of “sexually exploitative material” is illegal, and anyone found in possession of such material could face up to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Because of the recent popularity of sexting, it is important to understand (and make sure your children understand) the consequences of sexual images being kept on your phone or computer. Cyber-bullying often occurs because people feel the internet and texting is anonymous. But, computer histories and phone records can be used to track offenses, and anonymity is not a reality.Request a Free Consultation