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Boulder college student, 19, accused of child sex exploitation

A Colorado conviction for child sexual offenses includes long-term, life-crippling penalties. Beyond imprisonment, an individual with a felony record may be denied education, jobs, credit and housing. Add to that misery a lifetime sex offender registration and supervision.

Criminal defense attorneys are highly aware of the seriousness of sex crime allegations. Lawyers also know evidence against defendants under these circumstances must be clear and convincing, beyond any reasonable doubt, to result in such harsh punishment. Flawed or false accusations can result in dropped or reduced charges, which can make a crucial difference in the years ahead.

Authorities arrested a male University of Colorado Boulder student, after receiving information late last month from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The organization claimed the 19-year-old male had been engaging in sexually explicit discussions with an out-of-state female minor. Police reportedly also were forwarded evidence of child pornography, involving the underage victim.

The student, a native of Oman, was jailed on suspicion of double counts of sexual exploitation of a child and a single count of Internet sexual exploitation of a child. Local authorities seized the continuing education student's electronic devices, after securing a search warrant. A release on bond would require the teen to avoid contact with all minors and hand over his passport.

The description of Colorado's Internet sexual exploitation of a child law states a criminal must be at least four years older than a child victim, under age 15. Exploitation charges also involve possession of sexually exploitative materials. The severity of the felony depends upon the defendant's criminal history and the quantity and type of materials in the defendant's possession, particularly video.

Charge dismissals may not be possible in every case, but sometimes charges can be revised and replaced with allegations that are not sexual in nature. By mitigating present charges, an attorney helps defendants avoid destructive future consequences.

Source: Daily Camera, "CU-Boulder student arrested in child pornography, Internet exploitation case" Mitchell Byars, Sep. 12, 2014

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