Child enticement is a serious sex crime allegation in Colorado. It carries hefty legal, professional, and personal consequences. It is important that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you face any kind of sex crime charge.
This article explores:
Are You Charged with a Child Enticement?
Robinson & Henry’s Criminal Defense Team is experienced in handling serious sex crime allegations. Do not wait to talk to an attorney about a child enticement charge. Call 303-688-0944 to schedule a free case assessment or make an appointment online.
What is Enticement of a Child?
Enticement of a child is a sex crime in Colorado that involves inviting someone under the age of 15 to go somewhere with you for sexual contact.
Examples of Child Enticement
Child enticement examples can include persuading a minor to get into a car, meet at a hotel room, or go to a secluded park with the intent to have sex or some other type of sexual contact.
The young person does not have to understand the intentions of the invitation for you to be charged with enticement of a child.
Here’s how the law reads:
“A person commits the crime of enticement of a child if he or she invites or persuades, or attempts to invite or persuade, a child under the age of fifteen years to enter any vehicle, building, room, or secluded place with the intent to commit sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact upon said child. It is not necessary to a prosecution for attempt under this subsection (1) that the child have perceived the defendant’s act of enticement.” C.R.S. § 18-3-305
Child Enticement & the Internet
Often, child enticement occurs through some type of electronic communication. It can happen on a social media site, gaming platform, chat room, or through a phone call, text message, or email.
Sting Operations & Entrapment Defense
Law enforcement agencies know various online forums can harbor individuals looking to exploit teens and tweens. Police hold sting operations to expose individuals eager to commit sexual offenses, like child enticement.
These sting operations, however, must follow certain guidelines so as not to entrap individuals.
Colorado law says entrapment occurs when police induce an otherwise law-abiding citizen to commit a crime. In other words, a law enforcement officer persuades or leads an individual to commit a crime.
If you would not have committed the crime if not for the police, you may have been entrapped.
Here’s exactly what the law says:
The commission of acts which would otherwise constitute an offense is not criminal if the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement official or other person acting under his direction, seeking to obtain evidence for the purpose of prosecution, and the methods used to obtain that evidence were such as to create a substantial risk that the acts would be committed by a person who, but for such inducement, would not have conceived of or engaged in conduct of the sort induced. C.R.S. § 18-1-709
Now, just giving someone an opportunity to commit a crime is not entrapment. There is the expectation that a person will reject the temptation to commit an unlawful act.
So when would the entrapment defense be viable in a child entrapment case?
You may be able to use the entrapment defense and have the case dropped if law enforcement did any of the following:
- pressured you to commit the crime
- heavily pursued you to commit the crime
- threatened to blackmail you to commit the crime
Other Possible Defenses
Your defense depends on the specific facts of your case, of course. However, other possible defenses to a child enticement charge can include:
- You invited the child to meet you for legal reasons – not sexual in nature.
- The child was 15 or older at the time of the alleged invitation.
What to Expect if You’re Charged
If you are suspected of enticement of a child, police will likely get a warrant to seize computers and other electronic devices from your home. They will search for any proof that you were in contact with the minor.
Police will look for conversations that you may have had with the young person, and they will look for other evidence, such as pictures of the child, to mount a case against you.
Do Not Talk to Police
You will have to comply with the search if the police have a valid search warrant.
However, you should not speak to the police about the allegations. Do not even give a statement. We cannot underscore enough that you should never talk to investigators without a lawyer present.
Even if You are Innocent
Many times, people believe that because they are innocent and have nothing to hide that it is OK to sit down with the investigator on the case. You should never do this. Remember, police are trying to build a case against you.
If you are suspected of child enticement, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately – even if police have not filed charges.
Why? A criminal defense attorney has seen everything before, and they know the tactics police use to build their case. Plus, your attorney will explain to you your legal rights and obligations, and they will advise you about how you should proceed.
Your criminal defense attorney is your best ally to fight sex crime allegations or charges.
Penalties for a Child Enticement Conviction
Important Note About Penalties:
It is incredibly important for us to note that aggravating factors can significantly affect your potential sentence. For instance, the penalties increase if you are charged with child enticement for a second time. The following penalties are the basic of basics if you will. You must talk to an attorney to get a more accurate picture of what kind of sentence you could face based on the facts of your case.
Prison Time & Parole
Sex crimes charges carry some of the harshest penalties in Colorado. Most sex offenses in Colorado are subject to what is called an indeterminate sentence.
If you receive an indeterminate sentence, you must serve the minimum sentence the judge sets before you can begin to request parole, which the parole board may or may not grant.
Class 4 Felony
Enticement of a child is a class 4 felony, and this charge carries an indeterminate sentence.
You will receive two – six years to life in prison for a child enticement conviction.
Class 3 Felony
Now, if the young person was physically injured during the enticement, this is considered a crime of violence. The charge bumps up to a class 3 felony. C.R.S. § 18-1.3-406(2)(b)(I).
This will change a few things for you as far as sentencing goes.
Under state law, a crime of violence presents “an extraordinary risk of harm to society.” The extraordinary risk factor tacks on an additional four years to the maximum sentence.
Here’s what that looks like:
Class 3 Felony Class 3 Felony w/Extraordinary Risk of Harm
Min. Max. Min. Max.
4 yrs. 12 yrs. 4 yrs. 16 yrs.
Now you’re looking at 4-16 years to life in prison, but other factors could change this range.
Previous Convictions Affect Your Case
Additionally, certain previous convictions can increase a child enticement charge from a class 4 felony to a class 3 felony.
Those previous convictions include:
- enticement of a child
- sexual assault on a child
- conspiracy to commit enticement of a child
- attempted enticement of a child
- conspiracy to commit sexual assault on a child
- attempted sexual assault on a child
If you are convicted of child enticement, you also will have to:
- register as a sex offender
- be supervised when you are paroled
- get sex offender evaluations and treatment
Parole lengths depend on the type of conviction. Depending on the type of offense, you could be on parole for the rest of your life.
You will need to talk with your attorney to get a better idea of how long you could be on parole.
Professional & Personal Consequences
If you are a Colorado teacher who has been charged with child enticement, your district’s school board can fire you immediately without a hearing if you are convicted of, plead no contest to, or receive a deferred sentence for child enticement. C.R.S. § 22-63-302
This is also true for other current and former employees of state school districts.
You certainly will not be allowed to work around children again if you’re convicted of enticement of a child.
It is important to know that a sex offense record, like child enticement, can never be sealed in Colorado.
That means the conviction is public record and could show up on a potential employer’s criminal background check costing you a decent job.
Losing Time with Your Own Children
You could lose some of or all your parenting time if you have a child enticement conviction.
Colorado law allows your child’s other parent, or the individual who has custody of your child, to file a motion with the court to object to your parenting time due to the conviction.
If that happens, Colorado law puts the burden on you to prove that having parenting time is in the child’s best interest. C.R.S. § 14-10-129(3)(a)
A child enticement allegation is enough to damage relationships with family and friends. A child enticement conviction may cause irreparable harm to those valued relationships.
Let’s Start Building Your Defense Today
It is obvious that you have a lot to lose if you are convicted of child enticement. Do not risk your freedom, your family, your relationships, and your livelihood. Get an ally on your side as soon as possible.
Our Criminal Defense Team offers a free case assessment to discuss the facts of your case, your legal rights and responsibilities, and what your next steps should be.
Call 303-688-0944 to set up a free case assessment or set up that meeting online.