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West Palm Beach Criminal Attorney > Blog > Criminal Defense > Floridians Charged With Operating Child Porn Site Under Guise Of “Modeling”

Floridians Charged With Operating Child Porn Site Under Guise Of “Modeling”

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Several are facing charges related to a “child modeling” website that authorities say was a subscription-based child pornography website. The principal player in the website business is now deceased. His wife and several others have pleaded guilty or are pending charges for money laundering.

The website was founded in 2005 and recruited members to entice children, some of the prepubescent, to provide content for the site. The website produced over 4.6 million sexualized images and videos of children. While the site did not contain nude images, it contained images of children wearing thongs, in cheerleader costumes, or poses meant to elicit a sexual response. The majority of the victims were taken from the Ukraine, Moldova, and other Eastern European states where poverty and other factors drive families to exploit their children.

The only individual accused of promoting and creating child pornography is now dead. Three others face charges related to money laundering.

Are non-nude images of children considered child pornography? 

As soon as child pornography laws hit the books, several exceptions were added to prevent First Amendment violations. Child pornography is not protected by the first amendment. However, not everything that looks like child pornography actually is child pornography. Art nudes, for example, even of children, are considered protected. What makes child pornography illegal is the intent behind the photographs. If the photographs have the purpose only of eliciting a sexual response, then the government can claim it’s child pornography even if the images don’t depict nude children.

This is becoming a touchier issue as more and more of these “non-nude” and “100% legal” websites make their way onto the internet. It is unclear that the images depicted on the site are “100% legal” when they contain non-nude (but sexually suggestive) photos of children marketed to pedophiles.

Further issues come about when it’s the children themselves who are producing the photos to send to their significant others. While technically satisfying the terms for child pornography laws, the law has found itself in the position of using laws to help children to actually hurt children. In several states, children can be prosecuted under child pornography laws for sexting their partner.

It’s also important to note that the age of consent, no matter how low it is in your state, doesn’t count toward federal child pornography laws. Most child pornography cases, especially those involving the internet, are filed by federal authorities. The age for nude photos is 18 or over regardless of anything related to the age of consent.

Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney 

Laws related to child pornography are complex and riddled with special considerations and exceptions. If you’ve been accused of possessing child pornography, then you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney to defend yourself against the charges. Call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.

Resource:

justice.gov/opa/pr/floridians-charged-and-convicted-connection-international-enterprise-operated-sexually

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