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Understanding child pornography laws

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Criminal Defense

A person suspected of child pornography can be prosecuted under Texas and federal laws. There are at least five federal laws against child pornography.

Sexual exploitation of children

This form of child abuse occurs when perpetrators of any age use their power to have sex with a child in exchange for a reward. It could be giving the child drugs or alcohol at a reduced price, discharge of a debt or a gift. Sexual acts can occur in person or online. While it is a crime if the child is any age, it is most common when the child is in adolescence.

Selling or buying of children

People who buy or sell children for sexual purposes can face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of breaking federal law. The law applies to anyone who has physical custody of the child. The person selling the child must know they will be used in child pornography or forced to commit sexual acts.

Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography

A person must knowingly be in the procession or receipt of child pornography before being found guilty of this crime. The child in the photos must be underage in the state or country where someone produced the material. Judges often consider the number of pictures and their sadistic or masochistic settings when finding a person guilty of this charge.

Transporting or mailing child pornography

A person guilty of transporting child pornography across state lines can be imprisoned for up to 15 years. A judge can also find them guilty if they mail any form of child pornography. The material may be books, magazines, periodicals, films or video tapes.

Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States

A judge can find a person outside the United States guilty of breaking U.S. sexual offense laws if they participate in producing child pornography materials with the intent to ship them into the United States. This section of the law covers all visual depictions, and it also covers any materials confiscated within 12 miles of a U.S. coastline.

Child pornography is a serious crime punishable under several federal laws.