The age of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant. Under federal law, any depiction of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in any sexually explicit conduct may constitute “child pornography” under U.S. statutes. In fact, it is the federal law that is most comprehensively developed in this area, outlawing the production, distribution, reception, and possession of any image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce.
Specific anti-pornography statutes in the United States Code include the following:
- Sexual Exploitation of Children (Production of child pornography). 18 U.S.C. § 2251
- Selling and Buying of Children. 18 U.S.C. § 2251A.
- Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors (Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography). 18 U.S.C. § 2252.
- Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography. 18 U.S.C. § 2252A.
- 18 U.S.C. § 2256.
- Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States. 18 U.S.C. § 2260.
Convicted child pornographers face steep steep fines and serious jail time under federal law. Under federal statutes, the minimum prison sentence runs from 15 years to 30 years. A first- time offender convicted of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison.
State Pornography Laws
While the federal law is tough, the states also have anti-pornography laws aimed at protecting minors as well. For example, in Florida, it is a second degree felony for a person to induce or employ a child younger than 18 to engage in any “sexual performance.” It is also a second degree felony to produce or direct such a performance and for a parent to consent to such a performance.
Defending the Pornography Charges
If you are charged with pornography, do not speak with any law enforcement officials or investigators. Proceed quickly to retain counsel.
The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick will act immediately to file a motion for computer forensic testing to obtain any removable media, including any flash drives and optical media that may be part of the evidence collected by the state or federal government. We will demand immediate disclosure of all reports produced by any software program used by law enforcement to perform forensic testing. We will petition the court for discovery and inspection of all records of electronic surveillance, including all evidence of monitoring of communications via the internet or other use of a computer for communications.
It is our goal to dig deep into the prosecution’s evidence to find every possible hole or flaw in the evidence. We will be asking many questions: Was there file sharing? How were the files downloaded or imported? By whom? How/where/when were they stored? Were there computer viruses, Trojans, malware? Is there adult pornography as well?
We explore every potential defense available to our clients. If you or someone you know has been implicated in a child pornography offense, please contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick at 1-866-337-2900 for a free case evaluation.