Normally, our Castle Rock sex crimes attorneys wouldn’t advise our clients to heed the advise of detectives.
However in this case, we believe teens can avoid a Castle Rock sex crimes charge stemming from a youthful indiscretion.
It involves the issue of “sexting.”
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office detectives made rounds late last month at local schools, advising parents and teens on how to avoid criminal charges from “sexting” their boyfriends and girlfriends – or forwarding those messages to others.
It seems a grave injustice, but as the law currently stands, a teenager who takes or shares explicit photos of themselves can be charged with dissemination of child pornography. Not to mention, of course, that when those images are passed on, the teens become exposed to a greater likelihood of real victimization.
Most teens don’t see the issue as being all that serious. But in fact, it wasn’t long ago when a handful of students at Chaparral High School were forced to hand over their phones amid allegations of sexting. Although police didn’t end up filing any charges in that case, it resulted in an expanded discussion of what these kinds of charges could mean for a teen’s future.
And this is not an uncommon phenomenon.
A study conducted two years ago by the FBI showed that an estimated 20 percent of teens sent nude or scantily-clad photos of themselves either over the Internet or on their cell phones. Another study indicated that one-sixth of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 who own phones have received such photos from someone they know.
And even just possessing those photos can leave a teen vulnerable to criminal charges.
This is unfortunate because although these may be acts committed between two consenting minors, they may still face criminal charges and forever be stamped as a sex offender. Of course, what these teens really need is perhaps some counseling. However, the law doesn’t appear to be headed for change anytime soon.
This is why it’s so critical to hire an experienced Castle Rock sex crimes defense attorney.
If you are interested in attending a sexting education class, the next one is being held by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on May 31st at 6 p.m. at the Parker Library on S. Crossroads Drive.
However, if you have questions about sexting charges involving your teen, contact an experienced Castle Rock sex crimes defense attorney to discuss your case.