You never set out to break the law, and you certainly never dreamed you’d be accused of various sex crimes. You just wanted to meet someone online and have an intimate relationship. This is very common in the modern world, especially with young people, and you figured there was nothing wrong with it. You were simply using the internet as a way to find another consenting adult.
But here’s the problem: You got catfished. Someone tricked you by providing inaccurate information. If you met up with them and did have a sexual encounter, you could now be facing serious charges.
How could this happen?
One example of how this could happen is simply if the person had lied about their age. Say that you are 23 years old, and the person you met online claimed to be 18. There was a five-year age gap between you, so you expect them to seem a bit younger, but they were still a legal adult and so there was nothing wrong there.
But what if they’re actually 16 years old and they just lied to you about their age? The age of consent in Colorado is 17. As such, if it’s found that was intimate with someone who is 16, you could face statutory rape charges.
Naturally, you would probably not feel that this was fair in any sense. You did not know that they were underage and they explicitly told you that they were 18 and a legal adult. But that doesn’t mean you’re not going to face charges, and the authorities may also not believe that you didn’t know their real age.
If you do find yourself in this situation, a conviction could have serious ramifications for the rest of your life, so be sure you know about all of the legal options you have.