A middle school teacher was recently arrested for allegedly using a peer to peer application to download and share video files that depicted minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The teacher was taken into custody by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation Unit. A preliminary investigation of the teacher’s computer revealed multiple video files depicting child pornography. The arrest occurred after the teacher distributed child pornography to an undercover law enforcement officer – one count of distributing child pornography. If the teacher is convicted of distributing child pornography, the teacher faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Being charged with any type of federal offense involving child pornography can be particularly serious and the potential penalties for such an offense can have life-altering effects. For individuals who face these types of charges, it is important to contact a skilled attorney.
Applicable Federal Child Pornography Law
Child pornography is defined under federal law as any type of visual depiction of anyone below the age of eighteen engaged in any manner of sexually explicit conduct. This content can be of an actual minor, a digital or computer generated image of a minor, or any visual depiction that has been modified to show a face or feature of a minor. Sexually explicit conduct includes a variety of acts including sexual intercourse, sadism, exhibition of the genitals or public area, and bestiality. Child pornography can result in a variety of charges including production of child pornography, reproduction of child pornography, soliciting a child for participation in the production of pornographic material, or knowingly and voluntarily possessing child pornography. Being convicted of one of these offenses can result in particularly serious penalties, including time in prison and substantial fines. Based on the amount of material that an individual possess, these penalties can increase.
Even if child pornography if found in an individual’s possession, there are still potential explanations that an individual can raise for why possession of child pornography was found. Our legal counsel is able to fully analyze an individual’s case to determine the potential defenses that can be raised. Some of the defenses that might exist include:
- Compromised Computer. An individual’s computer or network may have been compromised by online criminal activity.
- Another User. Another individual might have used the computer without permission.
- Reasonable Belief. An individual might have reasonably believed that the images in question were legally product with participants who were above the age of 18.
- Affirmative Defenses. Federal law recognizes a defense if an individual possessed fewer than three pieces of child pornography and promptly acted in good faith to destroy those images or reported the matter to law enforcement.
The Assistance of a Decatur Criminal Defense Lawyer
The federal government takes charges regarding child pornography particularly seriously. If you are charged with this type of offense, the resulting penalties can be severe. When faced with federal child pornography charges, you need a competent and experienced attorney who can fight for the best possible results. Contact the Federal Criminal Law Center today.