We are continuing work on increasing the number of participating agencies statewide until every jurisdiction in the state has an investigator properly training to conduct ICAC investigations.
Education - ongoing
Working with the Colorado Attorney General's Office, and the United States Attorney's Office through Project Safe Childhood and the Internet Safety Foundation the Colorado ICAC is trying to get a state mandated education program in the schools statewide. This non-profit organization continues to assist with spreading the education goal.
We believe internet safety education will benefit every child in the state. This allows for age appropriate education, as well as continual updates throughout their academic careers to keep up with the ever changing
Several legislative sessions ago, the House gave a strong recommendation to the state school districts to start an internet safety education program. Recently there was a law passed mandating that there will be Internet Safety Education implemented in the schools, however it is an unfunded mandate and has no penalty for failure to comply, therefore does not really make this goal a reality.
The Internet Safety Foundation is a group of educators, business professionals, law enforcement and concerned citizens whose goal is to raise public awareness about the issue of online safety for children and to serve as a clearinghouse for resources, software, and information that can be used by law enforcement, educators, counselors, parents and children in Colorado and around the Country in order to increase the safe use of the internet by children. They have conducted educator, teen and law enforcement education summits and created the Colorado iCrew, which is a group of peer internet safety mentors who volunteer their time to educate other teens.
New Legislative Issues
1. Again working with Attorney General John Suthers, we are attempted to address the issues related to wireless networks, especially in regards to cities and business offering this service for free. Thus far was have not made any progress to this end but we are hoping to get legislation in the next session that allows tracking of use of these networks. This would also include public and private library's who provide internet access to the general pubic, requiring them to maintain logs of who uses their computer system . This way if someone uses that to distribute child pornography or target a child, there can be a record obtained upon issuance of a warrant, to track that user.
To this end we also worked with U.S. Attorney Troy Eid while he was in office and met with Library officials to try and broker a compromise that allows for patron privacy, without protecting those who seek to harm our children or use the library to view child pornography. Some progress was made, but there is a long way to go on this issue.
2. We are also trying to get mandatory minimum sentences on many of the sexual crimes we investigate to include Internet Luring, Possession/Distribution of Child Pornography, Internet Sexual Exploitation, etc. Currently there are mandatory minimums in the federal system for these type of crimes and if these are not put in place at the state level, we will continue to see probation given to dangerous offenders who should be in prison. At minimum we hope to see mandatory minimum sentences on the many repeat offenders we are encountering during the course of investigations.
Here you will find all the initiatives we have worked on and completed beginning in early 2005.
House Bill 238 (2008) (NOW LAW!!!)
Previously we were required to duplicate and release images and videos of child pornography to the defense attorney during the discovery process. This was to ensure the attorney knew the content they were dealing with in order to present a defense. This caused detectives to manufacture copies of child pornography and distribute them. Since child pornography is contraband, it was the same as though detectives were handing over cocaine for them to ensure that it indeed was cocaine.
Under the Adam Walsh Act, federal procedure stated that this practice was not to be continued in federal cases, however left it open for states to decide their own procedure. The Attorney General was able to close this loop hole.
The law now requires that we make the items available at our lab for the defense attorney to come and view and determine the content. In order to have a copy released to them
House Bill 1011 (2006) (NOW LAW!!!!)
Recently we partnered with the Colorado Attorney General's Office and AG John Suthers to complete Bill 1011. We presented this bill with the Attorney General and Representative McCluskey to the House Judiciary Committee, who voted 11-0 to send it on to appropriations. Appropriations found the funding and sent it to the full house for consideration. The vote out of appropriations was 10-1. The bill went to the House floor and passed the final reading with a 60-1 vote. The bill then went forth to the Senate and passed by a vote of 34-0, on 05/03/06.
On 06/07/06, Bill 1101 was the last bill signed into law by Governor Bill Owens. The ceremony was held in Denver at one of the Boys and Girls Club locations where the attorney General kicked off his Safe Surf initiative. Bill 1011 is a new law to help combat online predators effective 07/01/06.
This law creates a new Internet Luring statute which makes it illegal to lure a person under 15 years old, if the offender is more than 4 years older than the victim, away from the victim's parents without the consent of the parent or guardian for any purpose. This would be a class 5 felony. If the meeting is for a sexual purpose it would be a class 4 felony.
This bill makes it illegal for a person to encourage a minor expose or touch their self or someone else's intimate parts for sexual gratification on the internet. This would be a class 4 felony.
It also raises the current penalty for possession of child pornography. Prior to 7/1/06, possession without manufacture or distribution was a class 1 Misdemeanor. Under this bill possession of 20 or more images would become a class 6 felony. Second and subsequent convictions would be a class 4 felony. (see below 1092 for the stricter new law to possession)
The House added an amendment which would require service providers operating within the State of Colorado to retain files for 90 days and if need be an additional 90 days upon the request of Law Enforcement, to ensure that data to track suspects is not lost before Law Enforcement can retrieve it.
Special thanks to Attorney General John Suthers and Representative McCluskey for writing and sponsoring this legislation. Colorado Senator Sandoval is the Senate Sponsor of this bill. And lastly to Governor Bill Owens for recognizing the importance of this bill and making it law.
House Bill 1092 (NOW LAW!!!!)
This bill was brought forth by El Paso County District Attorney John Newsome. Representative Schultheis sponsored the bill in the House and Senator Jones sponsored it in the Senate. We presented this bill to the House Judiciary Committee, and it continued after a 9-2 vote on to the Appropriations Committee. This bill was sent to the full House for consideration and passed on 04/18/06 with a 62-2 vote. The bill went to the Senate and passed there on 05/05/06 with a vote of 35-0. This bill was also signed into law on 06/07/06 and is effective on 07/01/06.
This new law is similar to the last part of bill 1011. It raises the penalty on possession of child pornography from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony. Possession of one image is a felony. On a second charge of possession the penalty will be a class 4 felony. These new laws will help children.
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