Law enforcement continues to crackdown on child pornography in Colorado

Federal and state law enforcement agencies are engaged in continuing efforts to arrest and prosecute Coloradans who traffic in child pornography.

Federal law enforcement officials are making sustained efforts, in Colorado and across the nation, to crack down on child pornography. KMGH TV in Denver reported in June that a 67-year-old Denver man was arrested on child pornography charges and ordered held without bail. According to the federal affidavit, an undercover investigation determined that the man had made 34 orders of child porn via the internet. During the execution of a search warrant, law enforcement officials found a large cache of child pornography and child erotica in the Denver man's home. Two months earlier, a Montezuma County man was charged with having committed internet sex offenses following a joint investigation by the FBI and the Colorado Department of Investigations. The Montezuma County man is alleged to have transported, shipped and received child porn via computer.

USA Today recently published a story on the expansion of the "Dark Web," where pedophiles "hide" by using websites to obscure their computers' identifying information. The "Dark Web" is said to have resulted in an explosive growth of internet child pornography. However, the FBI has sophisticated technology at its disposal in order to uncloak internet users who might wish to remain anonymous.

The FBI, together with the Cyber Crimes Center at Homeland Security Investigations, constantly monitors child porn websites. Further, the latest digital equipment is utilized to enhance the pictures for clues as to where a pornographic image was made. Tech News World believes that, in light of the revelations on the National Security Agency's PRISIM program, it is reasonable to assume that the government is probably seeking to crack the security of services that offer internet users anonymity.

Consequences of being caught

The production, distribution, reception and possession of child porn-by any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce-are federal crimes. Federal jurisdiction almost always applies when the Internet is used to commit a child pornography violation. Images of child pornography are not protected under the First Amendment and are deemed illegal contraband. Federal law defines "child pornography" as "any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving someone less than 18 years of age." Sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaged in sexual acts. Photos of a nude child may be deemed child porn if it is found to be adequately sexually suggestive.

A federal conviction for child pornography can lead to a lengthy prison sentence and fines. For example, a first-time offender convicted of producing child porn faces fines and a statutory minimum of 15 to 30 years in prison. If there have been prior convictions, offenders may face harsher penalties. Certain aggravated situations, such as when images are deemed violent or sadistic in nature, or a minor was sexually abused, could result in life imprisonment.

Seek legal help

It is a serious matter whenever a Colorado resident faces criminal charges for a sex crime. Such charges can be devastating for one's family and lead to employment problems. A conviction could result in a lengthy prison sentence. Every person is innocent until proven guilty. Defenses may be available that could lead to a reduction of the charges or even their dismissal. If you have been accused of a sex crime, you need to contact a Colorado lawyer experienced in handling sex crime cases. The attorney will be glad to sit down with you to discuss your case and go over potential defenses.

Keywords: internet sex offense, child pornography, federal crime, crackdown, Colorado