December 9, 2023
Many people have access to computers in Colorado – including kids.
If you are ever in contact with a child online and make plans to meet up for sex, then that is itself a crime in Colorado – even if sex acts never take place.
With the way computers and the internet are used in the lives of everyday people in this day and age, it’s pivotal to understand what is against the law and what potential penalties can be faced if you are charged with the crime of internet luring of a child.
Internet Luring of a Child in Colorado: What Is It?
In Colorado, it is against the law to knowingly communicate with someone you know or believe is under age 15 over a computer network, computer, data network, or telephone network. That includes communication by instant message or text message.
The defendant must also be at least four years older than the victim. Through telecommunication, they describe explicit sexual conduct such as fondling, nudity, intercourse, or masturbation, among other things.
The lynchpin to this charge is to do all the things listed above, then invite or attempt to persuade the victim to meet you for any reason. If all of these conditions happen in your case, then you are guilty of luring a child over the internet in Colorado.
Colorado Penalties for Luring a Child Over the Internet
If someone lures another with the intent to sexually exploit a child upon meeting, then that’s considered a Class 4 felony in Colorado. Class 4 felonies are punishable by up to six years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. It also requires that the perpetrator registers as a sex offender in Colorado after they are released from prison.
In other circumstances that do not involve sexual exploitation of a child, internet luring is a Class 5 felony in the state. The penalties for this class include up to three years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.
The legal defense used in cases depends on the specific circumstances in the case, but there are some common defenses to this type of charge that are often used in court. They include:
- The defendant was unaware they were communicating with someone under the age of 15
- The defendant believed that the child in question was not more than four years younger than them
- Any communication with the victim did not take place over the phone, computer, or by other electronic means
- No explicit sexual conduct was ever described
- The intent of the defendant was misunderstood by the child
- The child was never invited to meet
- The child was invited to meet, but there was no sexual communication involved
- There was police misconduct in the case, including entrapment
There are many ways you can formulate a defense to charges as serious as these, but you need to ensure you have an experienced attorney fighting for you. They can help determine the best route to take in defense.
Internet luring of a child is a serious crime, which is why it’s vital to understand these types of charges and the circumstances under which someone can be charged with this crime.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.