The internet is a great place to meet new people. But using this technology to send sexually explicit messages and photos in an attempt to lure a child is illegal in Colorado. Law enforcement routinely monitors the internet, so you can easily get caught during a sophisticated sting operation.
Very little needs to happen for prosecutors to convict you of the offense. If you meet with a minor after sending explicit messages, even if you had no intention of engaging in sexual activity, you have likely broken the law and can face possible conviction.
Sex Crimes Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
Conviction of a sex crime will have a detrimental effect on your life. No one will be willing to listen to your side of the story and the people around you will assume you are guilty until proven innocent. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. will ensure your side of the story is heard.
We have over a decade of experience defending those accused of sex crimes in communities such as Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Kiowa, Hugo and Ordway. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a confidential consultation with the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C..
- How Does Colorado Define Online Solicitation of a Minor?
- Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor
- Colorado Sex Offender Registry
- Internet Sting Operations
- Additional Resources
How Does Colorado Define Online Solicitation of a Minor?
Online solicitation of a minor is officially known in Colorado as internet luring of a child. The crime is codified in section 18-3-306 of the Colorado Revised Statute and it involves an adult making sexually explicit comments to a minor with the intention of meeting up and engaging in those acts.
Chatrooms are not the only place where the offense can take place. You can be charged if you lured a child through text messages, phone calls or social media. Prosecutors must prove the following element to convict you of the offense.
- You knowingly communicated using a computer, computer network, telephone or data network, text message or instant message
- You knew or were led to believe the individual was younger than 15
- You are four years older than the individual’s believed age
- You communicated sexual content
- You invited the individual to meet you for any purpose
Sexual content can include intercourse, masturbation, sexual fondling or sending sexually explicit photos. The court will not care if the child lied about their age, nor will they care if the meeting never took place. Simply believing the child was younger than 15 or suggesting a meeting is enough to be charged.
Penalties for Online Solicitation of a Minor
Colorado takes the safety of its children seriously, and heavily penalizes crimes involving children. Charges and penalties for online solicitation of a minor depend on the intent of the meeting.
Luring a child with the intention to engage in sexual activity is a class 4 felony, which carries the consequences of:
- 2 to 6 years in prison
- 3 years of mandatory parole
- A fine between $2,000 and $500,000
- Mandatory registration as a Colorado sex offender
Luring a child through the internet without the intention of engaging in sexual activity is a class 5 felony in Colorado. A class 5 felony is punishable by the following:
- 1 to 3 years in prison
- A fine between $1,000 and $100,000
The court often fails to mention the collateral consequences entailing a felony conviction. You could lose your job, professional license, access to public benefits, the right to keep and bear arms and face chances of deportation. Not to mention the social stigma of being convicted of a sex crime. These consequences can have a far greater impact on your day to day life than time in prison and fines.
Colorado Sex Offender Registry
A conviction of internet luring of a child will continue to have a devastating impact on your life after your time has been served. One of the consequences of luring a minor with the intent to engage in sex is the required registration as a sex offender.
Class 4 internet luring of a child will require you to register for two to six years. As a registered sex offender, you will be required to abide by certain regulations. You will be required to undergo a mandatory psychosexual evaluation and participate in a treatment program.
You will also be required to provide the local police department with personal information such as your name, chatroom and instant messaging usernames, address, where you work and a photograph of yourself. Law enforcement in Colorado may release this information to the public, but they are not required to do so.
Failing to register as a sex offender is a class 6 felony entailing up to one and a half years of imprisonment and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000. Failing to register may also be made public on the state’s sex offender registry.
Internet Sting Operations
Law enforcement will conduct sting operations to find online predators. Officers will go into various chatrooms and pose as a minor with the intent of catching men and women attempting to lure children and engage in sexual activity. These stings occur regularly on sites like Facebook, Yahoo, AOL and other sites minors frequently access.
Once an officer has an adult engaging in a sexually charged conversation, they may take it a step further and ask the adult to meet up for sex. The officer may even go as far as sending photos of a child to the adult to build trust. If the adult shows up at the meeting place, they will be arrested and charged with internet luring of a child.
Contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. if you were arrested as part of an internet sting operation. Entrapment is a common issue in many sting arrests. The majority of the time, those arrested did not seek to commit the offense. Rather, they were lured by law enforcement into a situation out of their control.
Internet Luring of a Child | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link to read the section of the Colorado Revised Code over internet luring of a minor. You can find out how the state defines the crime and gain access to other sex crime laws. The code can be read on FindLaw.com, an online legal information service.
Colorado Sex Offender Management – Visit the official Colorado website to learn more about their sex offender management. You can find information on the Sex Offender Lifetime Supervision Act, crimes requiring registration and the first step after conviction.
Colorado Springs, CO Lawyer for Internet Luring of a Minor
Exercise your right to legal counsel and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will be with you through every step of the way and ensure the best possible outcome is achieved. Don’t delay. The sooner you contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C., the sooner we can begin building your defense.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. defends clients charged with sex crimes in El Paso, Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln and Crowley County.