H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Colorado Sex Crimes Possession of Child Pornography Arrests Increas

In a recent article in the Denver Post – the author brings to light the substantial increase in Colorado Child Pornography case prosecutions.

The number of Colorado prosecutions involving the possession and trading of child
pornography more than quadrupled from 36 cases filed in 2001 to 159 in 2009. While the number slightly decreased in 2010 – the 2011 number of case filings is on the increase.

Child pornography is predominantly found in multiple formats including print media, videotape, film, CD-ROM, or DVD. It is transmitted on various platforms within the Internet including newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat (chatrooms), Instant Message, File Transfer Protocol, e-mail, websites, and peer-to-peer technology.

Many individuals who surf the internet – become trapped in sites that distribute these images -much of the time it is curiosity followed by ignorance – helped along by the immaturity of the internet user. While it is difficult to describe a “typical” child pornography possessor because there is not just one type of person who commits this crime.

In a national study of 1,713 people arrested for the possession of child pornography in a 1-year period, the possessors ran the gamut in terms of income, education level, marital status, and age. Virtually all of those who were arrested were men, 91% were white, and most were unmarried at the time of their crime, either because they had never married (41%) or because they were separated, divorced, or widowed (21%).

With advances in technology the formation of the State of Colorado’s formed the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Colorado Springs.

The truth is this – there are innocent victims in these cases. Because of the failings of individuals who – at times do not understand the internet and at others – have no idea how serious a crime this can be.

Once these images are on the Internet, they are irretrievable and can continue to circulate forever. The child is clearly revictimized as the images are viewed again and again. However, the hysteria surrounding this crime sometimes compels the prosecution of the kind of individual who means no harm – but a person who needs assistance in understanding the impact of their actions – if they were intentional.

The search warrants today that are issued in these cases are complex. They encompass media-storage devices from phones to routers to game consoles.

The Rocky Mountain Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory provides professional assistance in analyzing these images using tools provided in large part by federal agencies.

It is not only a Colorado State Crime – these cases are prosecuted at the federal level. It is a federal crime to knowingly possess, manufacture, distribute, or access with intent to view child pornography (18 U.S.C. Section 2252). All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws criminalizing the possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography. As a result, a person who violates these laws may face federal and/or state charges.

Investigations in recent months have resulted in the prosecutions of police officers, teachers, soldiers and a children’s baseball umpire according to the Denver Post.

This is an area that requires not only an experienced criminal defense lawyer – but one who has experience in these kinds of difficult and complex cases.