DENVER (CBS4) – Reports of online exploitation of children have exploded during the pandemic. Prosecutors in Colorado say our laws are woefully inadequate to address the problem.
Last year, there were more than 18,000 reports in our state of images and videos online that depicted the sexual abuse of children, compared to 11,000 in 2019.READ MORE: Man Dies In Dairy Farm Manure Pit As State Lawmakers Debate Farm Worker Rights Bill
Colorado hasn’t updated its laws around child exploitation since 2009 when perpetrators traded actual pictures and tapes. Amanda Gall with the Colorado District Attorney’s Council says a new bill would close a loophole that allows people to avoid prosecution by using social media and live streaming.READ MORE: Amache Incarceration Site In Colorado Could Become New National Park
“We have to prove in a court beyond a reasonable doubt that they have possessed it, that there’s some amount of that material either on their phone or their computer or a thumb drive, and the fact is that’s just not where it’s stored now. When you’re watching a live stream of an abuse of a child as a viewer, there’s not any evidence necessarily left behind.”MORE NEWS: Gov. Jared Polis, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Visit Site During COVID Vaccinations For Special Olympic Athletes
The Colorado Defense Bar is opposing the bill that passed the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday with one no vote.