One of the fastest growing criminal activities of the twenty first century is child pornography. New filming technology, encryption, along with the vastness of the internet has made this crime more widespread but also more detectable. Here are some things to keep in mind approaching this from the defense table.
Nudity is considered child pornography when the subject is under eighteen years of age: There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if one seventeen year old films a consenting individual of the same age, it is still considered a criminal act.
Child pornography is discovered as a result of distribution: While it is not difficult for authorities to find underage pornography, they tend to focus on the creators and large distributors. Distribution often is charged as a state and federal crime, especially if one shares the pornography across state lines.
The child pornography designation can be extended to writing or simulated pornography: In short, this means that an animation which depicts sexual contact with children can fall under the same statutes, and be subjected to the same penalties, as live action child pornography.
Sexting can also be considered child pornography: Explicit messages, including pictures of semi-nude or nude underage individuals, falls under the umbrella term of child pornography and can be prosecuted along the same criminal guidelines. Although rarely proven or prosecuted, it is still illegal for two underage, consenting, individuals to send sexually explicit text messages to one another.
The criminal justice system has a severity chart which is used to determine punishment: The Copine scale rates the child pornography on a scale from one to ten based on what the video, picture, or writing depicts. The least severe is class one, which can be non sexually suggestive pictures of minors in underwear or swimwear. However, a ten rating depicts sadistic intent or even bestiality, and by law, must result in a jail sentence.