Police say that a Miami man impersonated a teenager in online chatrooms to entice young women to send him naked pictures. He has pled guilty to possessing, distributing, and producing child pornography. According to police, the man uploaded an image of a good-looking teenage boy and then promised the girls, some as young as 13, that he would be in an exclusive relationship with them if they would upload explicit photos of themselves.
After executing a search warrant of the defendant’s home, police found thousands of images and videos as well as the defendant communicating with others about the photos. If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. He could spend the rest of his life behind bars. The defendant was convicted in California for enticing a 13-year-old girl for which he spent three years in prison.
Project Safe Childhood
This prosecution was filed as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a DOJ initiative to combat human trafficking, child pornography, and other forms of child exploitation. The initiative aims to bring local, state, and federal law enforcement together on key issues involving the exploitation of minors. Typically what happens in an investigation like this, is that the perpetrator eventually runs into someone who isn’t minor, but a police officer. Hence, the culprit puts themselves in a position where they are committing the same crime, but this time with an officer recording it.
Since these types of cases tend to be addictions, the recidivism rate among pedophiles is extremely high. Most sex offenders have some form of sex addiction that they struggle to control. Even after having spent three years in prison on similar charges, this defendant moved across the country and began doing the same thing. Now, undeterred by his three-year prison sentence, he faces a life sentence on the same charges.
Child pornography charges
Child pornography has two gray areas. First, there is the consideration of art. For something to be pornography, its sole purpose must be to produce sexual arousal. Hence, art images exist in a gray area and are legal to possess.
Second, there is some question as to whether or not simulated child pornography is legal. If the pictures don’t contain actual children being exploited, then logistically, there is no victim. However, in 1996, Congress passed a law banning simulated child pornography. That law remains on the books today, but questions surrounding the First Amendment have yet to be ironed out. The same law could also be applied to models who looked younger than 18, but were actually over the age of 18.
The loophole in the current version of the law allows the distribution of material so long as it is not advertised as child pornography.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing serious charges, you want a seasoned West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney who can help you get out in front of the accusations and build a compelling defense to the charges. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to learn more about our services.