What Is Promoting Obscenity in Minors in CO?

Colorado has a host of laws surrounding obscenity, one of which is a crime referred to as “promoting obscenity in a minor.” This sex crime often flies under the radar, but it’s a serious crime if you’re charged and eventually convicted of it.

What types of actions constitute promoting obscenity in a minor, and what are the consequences in Colorado? There’s a lot to know and understand about this specific crime, so read on to find out more.

What Does It Mean to Promote Obscenity to Minors?

Under Colorado law, it is prohibited for an adult to show, send, or provide a minor with lewd material. You can be charged with this offense if you take the following actions:

  • You know the content and character of the material shared with the minor
  • You possess with the intention to promote or promote the material to anyone under the age of 18
  • The material is considered obscene
  • You present, direct, or produce obscene material involving a minor

Some of the most common actions that can result in promoting obscenity to minors include texting nude photos or showing a minor pornography. Additionally, these types of acts may be considered sexual exploitation of a child if the minor participates with an obscene image of their own or responds to the materials shared. Those under age 18 are not at fault under the law – it solely will rest on the shoulders of the adult, and it will likely result in charges against them.

This crime may be gaining more attention than it has previously because of social media. More and more sex crimes like this are occurring thanks to the ease of social media as a platform to share sexual content that qualifies as promotion of obscenity to a minor. Sharing any material that depicts masturbation, genitals of either sex, intercourse, or other sexual ages with someone under the age of 18 is illegal.

How Serious is Promotion of Obscenity to a Minor?

In Colorado, every case that involves the promotion of obscenity is unique, so you may not see identical penalties for these types of charges. At a minimum, the promotion of obscenity to minors is considered a Class 6 felony and can result in up to 18 months behind bars, fines of as much as $100,000, and the requirement to register as a sex offender.

Sometimes promotion of obscenity can be a misdemeanor – but when a minor is involved it will be elevated to a felony crime.

Registration as a Sex Offender

If you are found guilty of promoting obscenity in minors, then perhaps one of the most serious aspects of the conviction is the requirement to register as a sex offender. Being required to do so can lead to serious problems since your sex offender status is a public record:

  • Difficulty finding employment
  • Having trouble securing a place to live
  • Isolation within the community

How Serious is Promotion of Obscenity to a Minor?

As a sex offender, you will be required to provide personal information to your local law enforcement agency, such as your name, birthday, phone number, address, vehicle information, employer, email, and any online identities you have. Much of this information will be available to the public.

Promoting obscenity in minors may seem like a trivial crime, but there are serious consequences. If you are facing these charges, it’s vital to understand the case against you and do your best to defend yourself in court.


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.