Colorado Sex Crime Attorney Blog

Why Do Kids Sext? Sexting and Sex Offenses in Denver

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Oct 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

There are sex crimes being committed every day in high schools in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County, and all across Colorado. These crimes are being committed openly. In fact, the offense is assumed and expected. This crime is Sexual Exploitation of a Child – C.R.S. 18-6-403, and it is committed when teens engage in sexting. In this blog, we'll take a look at why kids sext, and how easy it is for them to be charged with a sex offense if they are caught.

It's Common for Kids to Sext in Douglas and Arapahoe County

I read an article recently which discussed how common sexting really is among teenagers. In one school in another state, the police began investigating at a high school after hundreds of illegal photos of young people were posted to an Instagram account. Students were interviewed in an attempt to find out how many of them were part of a “sexting ring” at the school. They believed the sexting was an organized criminal affair – in realty, it was much more widespread than they thought. When questioned about how many of them had sexted, most students replied: “everyone.” Hundreds of phones were confiscated because they contained child porn. The police soon realized that the “victims” of the exploitation had created the photos themselves and willingly sent them to boys. The police went from calling the girls “victims,” to “I guess I'll call them victims,” to “they victimized themselves.” It was found that young women were expected to provide images – many were pressured, but many willingly participated. The boys didn't view the photos as anything too special –after all, pornography is available at the touch of a button. Instead, they viewed the photos more as a Pokémon or baseball card collection – proudly showing off their latest find with their friends.

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”60%”]Teenagers feel invincible, and don't realize sexting can be a crime with serious implications.[/pullquote]

When Kids Sext, is it a Crime?

When kids sext, they don't understand the legal implications which could have a huge impact on their future. They feel invincible, and don't realize that creating, sharing, or possessing sexually explicit photos of underage people is a crime in Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and Aurora. It is called Sexual Exploitation of a Child. In Adams, Douglas, and El Paso County, it is a serious sex offense which results in prison time for adults who are convicted. Also, it is a sex offense, which means a juvenile adjudicated or convicted of the offense would be required to register as a sex offender and go through sex offender treatment overseen by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB).

Laws Haven't Caught Up with the Times

[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]How do you protect a victim when the victim produced the images?[/pullquote]In the high school where the police were looking for the sexting ring, they decided to wipe the illicit images from phones, and warn the teenagers to stop their behavior – next time they wouldn't be as forgiving. The problem with this offense, however, is that the laws haven't caught up with the times. How do you protect a “victim” when the “victim” willingly provided the images? This doesn't happen in Colorado. We have represented many teenage boys who have been charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child for possessing an explicit photo of a girl – a photo that was sent to him unsolicited. We work hard to educate parents and their kids about the dangers of sexting. Even if they aren't charged with a crime in Centennial, Denver, or Lone Tree, the photos could come back to haunt them later in life, when they're trying to get a job or find a home. If your child has been contacted by the police regarding sexting, don't hesitate to contact one of our outstanding criminal defense lawyers who has a thorough understanding of the law regarding sexting. Don't put your kid's future in the hands of a public defender or have them plead guilty. Protect their future by contacting an attorney immediately who can give you the facts of the situation. Request a Free Consultation

If your kids have been contacted by the police regarding sexting, be smart, tell them to exercise their right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your child's future.

Image Courtesy of nenetus /

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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