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Child pornography in the news

The headlines just seems to keep coming these day: “Child Porn Investigation In Colorado Leads To Jessamine County Man”; “Airman pleads guilty to distributing child porn, other charges; sentencing hearing starts today”; “Colorado man accused of making child pornography held without bond”; “Denver man indicted and arrested for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography: Defendant looped video of someone else during “live” web chats as part of ploy to produce child pornography ; Major child pornography bust in Colorado Springs: 11 adults, juvenile arrested and charged”; “Colorado Springs man arrested for child pornography.”

Prosecutions for child pornography in Colorado quadrupled from 2009 to 2011 and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has experienced a three-fold increase in the number of tips to its hotline triple since 2005 with the great majority of calls related to child pornography. The increase has said to be a result of both the availability of high-speed internet access and the evolving supplicated techniques used by law enforcement for tracking down offenders. Increasingly, law enforcement can capture a photo floating in cyberspace and track it to a computer, in a city or town, and to a particular street address. Denver police have reported that nearly two-thirds of their investigations involve peer-to-peer file sharing networks.

Child pornography can invoke both state and federal criminal laws. In Colorado, state law makes is a crime of sexual exploitation of children for anyone to knowingly: induce or permit a child to be used in any sexually exploitative materials; publishing through any means, including digital or electronic format, or distributing any sexually exploitative material; possessing or controlling any sexually exploitative material for any purpose (with some narrow exceptions for legitimate use); and possessing with intent to sell or distribute sexually exploitative materials. Sexual exploitation of a child by possession of sexually exploitative material is a class 6 felony; a second or subsequent offense of possession of sexually exploitative material, or a first or subsequent offense of possession of a video, video tape, or motion picture, or more than 20 different items qualifying as sexually exploitative material constitutes a class 4 felony; and knowingly causing a child to engage in or be used for explicit sexual materials is a class 3 felony.

Prosecution under federal law is also a distinct possibility. It is an offense under federal law to knowingly mail, transport, or ship, in interstate or international commerce, including the use of a computer, any child pornography. It is also a federal offense to knowingly distribute or receive any child pornography by mail or other means of interstate or international commerce. Punishment for a violation of these laws can lead to a prison sentence of five to 20 years.

These are very serious consequences. For anyone who has been charged with an offense related to child pornography, it is essential to seek the immediate representation of an experienced Colorado criminal attorney.