Internet Exploitation Of A Child
According to Colorado law, a person may be prosecuted for internet exploitation of a child when 1. The person knows the child is under fifteen years of age, 2. The person knows or believes the child is at least four years younger than them, and 3. The person deliberately convinces the child through an electronic medium to either observe the child touching the intimate parts of themselves or someone else or expose the person’s intimate parts to the child.
For the purposes of this statute, Colorado defines “intimate parts” as external genitalia, perineum, anus, buttocks, pubic area, and breasts. This crime does not include sharing pictures of events that happened in the past or “sexting.” Instead, it is essentially having “cybersex” in real-time with a child.
Colorado Internet Exploitation of a Child Attorney | Denver, CO
If you have been arrested for Internet exploitation of a child in Colorado, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Criminal defense attorney Matthew Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. understands how difficult and stressful this is. He will tackle your case aggressively but with discretion and sensitivity.
If you reside in Denver, CO or Adams County, Arapahoe County, Broomfield County, Douglas County, or Boulder County, call (303) 725-0017 to secure a free consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. today. Your future is at stake so it is important to act quickly.
- Penalties For Internet Exploitation Of A Child in CO
- Registration As A Colorado Sex Offender
- Additional Federal Charges
- Defenses for Internet Exploitation of a Child in CO
- Statute Of Limitations
- Can The Record Be Sealed?
- Additional Resources
Internet exploitation of a child is a class four felony in Colorado. This means that it may have penalties of at least two years and up to six years in Colorado State Prison and a possible fine of between $2,000 and $500,000. The accused will also be required to register as a Colorado sex offender and lose the right to own or possess a gun.
If convicted, a court will likely require the defendant to register as a sex offender with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. By registering or being required to register, the public can look in the database, learn the crimes the individual committed, and find the offender’s status.
Once a defendant is registered, it can significantly impact their life. Anyone – including employers, educational institutions, and licensing agencies can look up the individual’s status online and make decisions based on the information they find on the database. Any communities the individual is trying to enter, such as apartments or community groups, can legally deny the individual.
An individual will need to provide the following information if required to register as a sex offender in Colorado:
- Date of Birth
- Crime and date convicted
- Predatory habits found out by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations; and
- If they are a “sexually violent predator”
A “sexually violent predator” is an individual who:
- Was 18 at the time of the offense and tried as an adult,
- The child was a stranger to the individual and the relationship was only for sexual reasons, and
- The Colorado Bureau of Investigations assessed the individual as likely to commit another sex crime, or
- The individual was classified as a similar classification in another state and moved to Colorado.
In addition to the Colorado crime committed, federal charges may also be brought against the accused. In certain instances, the prosecutor may avoid filing both state and federal charges. In other cases, both state and federal charges can be filed simultaneously.
Usually, federal charges are filed if the defendant and the child victim are in different states. Under 18 U.S.C. 2251, the defendant may face 15 to 30 years in federal prison and incur fines. The government will review whether the defendant has committed prior sex crimes, which can increase penalties.
A skilled defense attorney can build a successful defense tailored to the unique facts of a case. A defense can be a single statement or a combination of multiple factors that indicate that the defendant did not commit the alleged crime. Common defenses in Colorado include:
- The accused didn’t know or believe the child’s age,
- The accused did not entice the child to expose or touch intimate body parts,
- Law enforcement found the evidence, such as a phone or computer, through an illegal search,
- Another person used the accused device to sexually exploit the child
- The accused was falsely accused or was a victim of mistaken identity.
Most crimes have a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time period in which the prosecutor must file charges against the accused. Once this time period runs out, the prosecutor can no longer file charges against the individual unless there is a specific exception.
In Colorado, class four felonies have three-year statutes of limitations once the crime has been discovered. If the accused is not in the state of Colorado, the three-year clock can pause. The prosecutor can file charges after the standard three-year period.
Due to the nature of the crime of internet sexual exploitation of a child, the criminal record of a convicted defendant can never be sealed. The only way to get the record sealed is if the charges get dismissed. Once convicted, the offense will stay on the defendant’s record indefinitely.
Colorado Revised Statues § 18-3-405.4 – This website directly links to the entire Colorado statute explaining internet sexual exploitation of a child.
Child Safe – This resource provides information for child victims of internet sexual exploitation. Listed on this site is the contact information for numerous non-profits in Colorado that all aim to eliminate child sexual abuse in Colorado by helping survivors.
Denver Exploitation of a Child Lawyer
If you have been arrested for exploitation of a child in Denver, reach out to our experienced legal defense team at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Our goal is to minimize the negative consequences of the sex crime charge and to get the best possible outcome, given the facts of your case. The penalties for any sex crime are severe, especially if you must register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
To have a knowledgeable defense lawyer fight aggressively on your behalf, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. at (303) 725-0017. We are prepared to set up an initial consultation and discuss all of your legal options.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area including Golden, Lakewood, Broomfield, Boulder, Morrison, Centennial, Englewood, Deer Trail, Louisville, Nederland, and Eldora.