Under CRS 18-3-405.4, the internet exploitation of a child in Colorado is a Class 4 felony. The offense entails using the internet or other online media to encourage a child to masturbate or to watch you masturbate. A conviction carries a penalty of 2 to 6 years in prison and a fine of $2000.00 to $500,000.00.
A more general version of the crime is found in CRS 18-6-403 sexual exploitation of a child – Colorado child pornography laws.
What is the internet exploitation of a child in Colorado?
You violate 18-3-405.4 C.R.S. when:
- You know or believe that someone is a child under 15 and at least four years younger than you, and
- You knowingly importune, invite, or entice that child — through communication via a computer network or system, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message — to:
- Expose or touch his or her own intimate parts (or the intimate parts of another person) while you communicate electronically with the child, or
- Observe your intimate parts via a computer network or system, telephone network, or data network or by a text message or instant message.
What are the consequences of an 18-3-405.4 conviction?
Internet sexual exploitation of a child is a Colorado class 4 felony. Penalties can include:
- 2-6 years in prison, and/or
- A fine of $2,000-$500,000.
You will also be required to register as a Colorado sex offender and to disclose the felony conviction on job applications. Your rights – including your right to own or possess a firearm – will be affected as well.
Furthermore, since the materials for the computer or telephone were most likely produced out of state, you may be subject to federal prosecution under 18 U.S. Code 2251, the federal law against sexual exploitation of children.
If you are convicted in federal court of violating 18 U.S. Code 2251, you face a hefty fine and 15 years or more in federal prison, without the possibility of parole.
What are some common defenses to this charge?
Defenses to internet sexual exploitation of a child fall into three basic categories:
- You didn’t know or believe the child’s age,
- You didn’t entice the child to expose, touch or observe intimate parts, or
- There was police misconduct, such as an illegal search or seizure of your phone or computer.
Call us for help…
It may seem as if the police and prosecutor have a cut-and-dried case when you are charged with internet sexual exploitation of a child.
But our Denver Colorado criminal defense lawyers are here to protect your rights. We know that innocent people are often accused of internet child exploitation.
It can be difficult to judge someone’s age over the internet. Sometimes a person who turns out to be a child initiates the activity. Maybe someone else used your computer and you are a victim of mistaken identity.
Whatever the reason for the accusation, our Denver sex crimes attorneys are here to help. If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child over the internet or other electronic media, don’t get labeled a sex offender for something you didn’t do or an innocent mistake.
Contact us, instead, for a free and confidential consultation and find out why we are some of the best sex crimes attorneys in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado.
Communities we serve include Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Lakewood, Thornton, Arvada, Westminster, Centennial and Boulder.
You can reach us using the form on this page or at our Denver home office:
Colorado Legal Defense Group
4047 Tejon Street
Denver, CO 80211