Sexting & Texting
Sexually Explicit Photos
In Colorado, Sexting by or to juveniles may violate three different criminal laws. These crimes are directed to the sharing of sexually explicit images. These images commonly involve some form of nudity, sex act or may even involve sexually explicit poses.
Child Pornography or Child Exploitation
If your partner sends a suggestive photo of themselves, and the subject of the photo is under the age of 18 years old, this might constitute the crime of possession/distribution of child pornography. Child pornography laws are designed to protect the continued exploitation of children. It does not matter if you are not the person who produced the images. The mere possession of child pornography may be enough to convict you. Normally, child pornography is traded on pier to pier networks with programs such as lime-wire or frost-wire. These programs generally allow users to create a virtual file sharing arrangement. Files are hosted on each computer in the network and accessible by all of the other computers on the virtual network. When files are shared computer logs are created identifying which files are involved and the I.P. destination address. Knowing this information, police are able to reduce this data to a physical location and obtain a search warrant. All that is left then is to forensically search the computers to prove that child pornography has been shared. In the context of sexting, images may be taken with a phone and sent either through email, twitter or texting. Generally these types of sexting offenses are filed when the images are discovered and the phone is turned over to authorities.
If you send a suggestive photo of yourself to your partner and your partner is under the age of 18, this might constitute the crime of promoting obscenity. In Colorado this is a felony offense and is also a sex offense. Obscenity is broadly defined in Colorado but could include suggestive poses, nudity and sex acts. Even though you and your partner may be legally able to engage in sexual relations, if one party is below the age of 18 you will not be allowed to share sexually explicit photos with your significant other. Consent here is not a defense to the crime of Promotion of Obscenity.
If you request a suggestive photo of your partner over text or email, and your partner is under the age of 15, this might constitute the crime of internet sexual exploitation. Thus, the mere request of a suggestive photo may be enough to convict you of this offense. Again, consent is not a defense.
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