Federal and state laws make it a crime to produce, possess, distribute, or sell pornographic materials that exploit or portray a minor (under the age of 18). Increasingly, child pornography laws are being utilized to punish use of computer technology and the Internet to obtain, share, and distribute pornographic material involving children, including images and films.
Federal laws addressing child pornography are:
18 U.S.C. § 2251– Sexual Exploitation of Children
- (Production of child pornography)
- 18 U.S.C. § 2251A– Selling and Buying of Children
- 18 U.S.C. § 2252– Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors (Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography)
- 18 U.S.C. § 2252A– Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography
- 18 U.S.C. § 2260– Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States
First-time offenders found guilty of producing child pornography may be sentenced to fines and between 15 and 20 years in prison. Offenders may be prosecuted under federal, state, or both jurisdictions for any child pornography offense.
Utah’s Legal Definition of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor U.C.A. Sec. 76-5b-103
(1) A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor:
(a) when the person:
(i) knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or
(ii) intentionally distributes or views child pornography; or
(b) if the person is a minor’s parent or legal guardian and knowingly consents to or permits the minor to be sexually exploited as described in Subsection (1)(a).
(2) Sexual exploitation of a minor is a second degree felony.
(3) It is a separate offense under this section:
(a) for each minor depicted in the child pornography; and
(b) for each time the same minor is depicted in different child pornography.
(4) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating this section that no person under 18 years of age was actually depicted in the visual depiction or used in producing or advertising the visual depiction.
(5) In proving a violation of this section in relation to an identifiable minor, proof of the actual identity of the identifiable minor is not required.
(6) This section may not be construed to impose criminal or civil liability on:
(a) any entity or an employee, director, officer, or agent of an entity when acting within the scope of employment, for the good faith performance of:
(i) reporting or data preservation duties required under any federal or state law; or
(ii) implementing a policy of attempting to prevent the presence of child pornography on any tangible or intangible property, or of detecting and reporting the presence of child pornography on the property; or
(b) any law enforcement officer acting within the scope of a criminal investigation.
Renumbered and Amended by Chapter 320, 2011 General Session
If you are aware that you may be accused of a sex crime, you should contact an experienced Utah criminal lawyer with the Law Office of Stevens & Gailey to advise you even if you are not currently charged. Once a child porn possession or other sex crime investigation is underway, you need a lawyer to help prevent charges from being filed or to make sure you do not make missteps in dealing with law enforcement officers. You want to minimize the disruption to your every day life as you fight the charges in court.
We can assess the strength of the case against you, inform you of the consequences of a conviction. The simple accusation of a sex crime like child sex abuse or possession of child porn can destroy someone’s life even if the allegation does not end in a conviction.
It should be noted that if you are a witness in some cases, a Lawyer is advised, specifically if you are a witness who wants to claim spousal priviledge. If you believe you may incriminate yourself if you testify, you need an lawyer to advise you as to whether you may appropriately refuse to testify based on your Fifth Amendment rights.
Contact the lawyers with Stevens & Gailey, we are here to help you.