Sexually Explicit Material Harmful to Children in Colorado
CRS 18-7-502

In Colorado, it is a criminal offense to sell or rent to a child any photograph, video, or visual representation of sexually explicit nudity, conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse which is harmful to children. Providing sexually explicit material to children is a class 2 misdemeanor, with penalties including 3 to 12 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:

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In Colorado, it is a criminal offense to sell or rent to a child any photograph, video, or visual representation of sexually explicit nudity, conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse which is harmful to children.

1. What is sexually explicit material harmful to children?

It is a criminal offense for anyone to provide sexually explicit material that is harmful to children. This includes selling, renting, or procuring sexually explicit material. It also includes selling a child an admission ticket where harmful sexually explicit material will be exhibited.1

Under Colorado law, it is also a violation for a child under the age of 18 to represent that they are 18 or older with the intent to purchase sexually explicit material.2

It is also unlawful for anyone to knowingly exhibit, expose, or display prohibited sexually explicit material at any commercial establishment where children may be invited as public.3

Stores that sell sexually explicit materials may include adult bookstores, adult toy and video stores, video rental shops, convenience stores, or general book stores. These vendors are prohibited from selling or renting sexually explicit adult materials to anyone under the age of 18. Stores and businesses are also restricted on how they can display adult magazines or other materials if the store is open to children.

2. What type of sexually explicit material is prohibited?

Prohibited sexually explicit material includes representations of a person or portion of the human body which depicts sexually explicit nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse which, taken as a whole, is harmful to children, including any:

  • Picture;
  • Photograph;
  • Drawing;
  • Sculpture; or
  • Motion picture film.

Prohibited material also includes any book, pamphlet, magazine, printed matter or sound recording which includes explicit or detailed verbal descriptions of sexual excitement, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse which is harmful to children.4

3. What are the penalties for providing sexually explicit material harmful to children?

Providing sexually explicit material that is harmful to children is a class 2 misdemeanor. The penalties for a class 2 misdemeanor conviction include 3 to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.5

There is not a clear line that defines what sexually explicit material may be harmful to children. One individual's version of obscenity may be very different from another's. People have been accused of obscenity or providing sexually explicit material for selling or displaying classic art, cartoons, photography books, sculptures, classic novels, or stand-up comedy performances.

4. Related Offenses

4.1 Dispensing Violent Films to Minors CRS 18-7-601

In Colorado, providing certain violent films to anyone under the age of 18 can be a criminal offense. This applies to videos that are considered predominantly appealing to an interest in violence with actual violence resulting in injury or death. Dispensing violent films to minors is a misdemeanor with penalties including a fine of up to $1,000.

4.2. Contributing to the Delinquency of Minor C.R.S. 18-6-701

In Colorado, behavior that induces a person under the age of 18 to violate a law, ordinance or court order is considered contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class 4 felony offense that carries penalties of 2 to 6 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.

4.3. Furnishing Tobacco to a Minor C.R.S. 18-13-121

It is unlawful in Colorado to give, sell, dispense, distribute, or offer a cigarette, nicotine, or other tobacco product to anyone under the age of 18. Selling tobacco to a minor is a class 2 petty offense in Colorado that carries a fine of $200.

Call us for help...

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If you have been charged with providing sexually explicit material to children, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with criminal offenses. We are among the best Colorado criminal defense attorneys to call. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.


Legal References

  1. C.R.S. 18-7-502
  2. C.R.S. 18-7-502(3)
  3. C.R.S. 18-7-502(5)
  4. C.R.S. 18-7-502(1)
  5. C.R.S. 18-7-502(6)

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