Colorado child prostitution generally includes the offenses of child sex trafficking, pimping a child, soliciting a child prostitute, or patronizing a child prostitute. Regardless of the nature of an adult’s involvement in child prostitution, these are always felony-level offenses.
Unlike other states, Colorado has an entire subchapter devoted to child prostitution, which is completely separate from the prostitution of adults. According to state law, children involved in prostitution are never guilty of a crime, but the adults involved are subject to serious charges.
Today’s post covers the specific activities most often related to child prostitution, the penalties associated with a conviction, and how to fight back against child prostitution charges if you wind up facing them.
Types of Child Prostitution Offenses in Colorado
Colorado has criminalized any form of involvement in activities related to the prostitution of children. These illicit activities can fall into one of the five following categories.
Inducement of Child Prostitution
Under Colorado law, a defendant induces child prostitution by inducing a child under 18 to engage in an act of prostitution, either by words or actions.
Essentially, this offense involves compelling a child to engage in prostitution or even arranging for a child to engage in such activity.
Procurement of a Child for Prostitution
State law also dictates that a defendant commits the crime of procurement of a child by knowingly and intentionally giving, transporting, providing or making available to another person a child for the purpose of prostitution. Mere offering to do so is also grounds for charging.
This is the specific activity most commonly referred to as child sex trafficking. It involves providing a child for prostitution to another party.
Pimping of a Child Prostitute
A defendant commits the crime of pimping a child prostitute by knowingly accepting or being supported by the earnings of a child’s prostitution.
Patronizing a Prostituted Child
Once a child has been procured for and somehow induced to participate in prostitution, an adult who pays for a child under 18 to perform a sex act with them — or another party — is committing a felony offense.
A defendant commits patronizing a prostituted child by doing the following with a minor (child) that is not his or her spouse:
- Engaging in an act that is prostitution of or by a child; or
- Entering or remaining in a place of prostitution with the intent to engage in paid sex acts with a child.
Soliciting for a Child Prostitute
A person commits soliciting for child prostitution when he or she invites another person to participate in the prostitution of a child. Arranging or merely offering to arrange a meeting for the purpose of child prostitution is also guilty of this crime. Even directing another person to a place they know to be involved in child prostitution is considered soliciting for a child prostitute.
In plain English, this means that if you promote or otherwise arrange for someone to patronize a prostitute, you are guilty of solicitation for child prostitution.
Colorado Child Prostitution Sentencing and Penalties
All offenses related to child prostitution are a Class 3 Felony. In Colorado, this is punishable by:
- 4-12 years in prison (mandatory)
- Fine of $3,000-$750,000
Child prostitution offenses are often subject to sentencing enhancements, that can leave a defendant facing up to 24 years in prison per count.
Additionally, offenders are usually required to register as a Colorado sex offender upon conviction. This means that the defendant’s name will be listed in a searchable public database.
Depending upon the terms of release, you may be required to notify employers or neighbors, and/or restricted from living in certain areas.
Child Prostitution Defense Strategies for Colorado Charges
Fortunately, child prostitution charges do not equate to a conviction. Your Denver prostitution and solicitation attorney will develop the best possible defense, which will depend on the specifics of your case.
Common defense strategies for child prostitution charges include:
- Actual innocence or mistaken identity
- Insufficient evidence
- Lack of knowledge
- The “child” allegedly involved in the offense was over the age of 18
- Police misconduct like illegal search and seizure, entrapment, or coerced confession
The bottom line is that regardless of how a defendant is allegedly involved in child prostitution, he or she could face many years behind bars and possible sex offender registration. These charges are life-changing, and should never be taken lightly.
However, if you’re facing charges, all hope is not lost. There are a number of defense strategies that could help your case, and ways to fight back.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.