Child pornography is defined as any pornography that involves a minor under the age of 18. The media doesn’t matter, and magazines, photos, drawings, sounds, film, and more can all be considered child pornography. There are technically two types of child pornography – simulated child pornography and porn created with the direct involvement of the child. In these cases, child abuse and many other laws will come into play. Currently, child pornography laws are among the harshest and most serious that a person can be charged with, regardless of the specifics of the incident.
Child Pornography Laws
Child pornography is prohibited at the state and federal levels, with most charges being filed against individuals at the federal level. Despite some attempts by groups and individuals, child pornography is not protected under First Amendment rights, and the possession of or creation of this type of pornography will be punished harshly. The specific type of charge that one can face will vary depending on the situation, and laws are defined in 18 USC, section 2251, 2252, 2256, and 2260. It is important to note that a child doesn’t have to be depicted in sexual acts in order for an image to be considered child porn. Sexually suggestive photos that include naked children will be considered to be in violation of federal law. Also, despite local or state age of consent laws, no minor under the age of 18 can be depicted in pornographic materials.
Federal law deals with production, distribution, reception, and possession of child pornography. Federal law also deals with international commerce related to child porn – all cases involving the internet will be covered under federal law. States may also file charges against a suspect in addition to the federal charges.
Child Pornography Crimes and Charges
Federal law makes it very clear that any sexualized images of children will be considered child pornography. Minors under the age of eighteen cannot be depicted in pornography, and laws are usually defined by the type of pornography and the method of use associated with it. For example, charges can vary based on:
- The creation of child pornography, including the filming or photographing of children in sexual situations.
- The possession of child pornography, whether on a computer hard drive, DVD, or hard copy photos.
- Viewing of child pornography and knowingly storing images
- The distribution of child pornography through any means.
In short, any activity related to child pornography will likely fall under federal law and face very serious charges. Offenders can be charged and prosecuted under federal law as well as state laws.
Child Pornography Punishment
Child pornography is among the most notorious crimes in the world, and is thus punished with very harsh penalties. First time offenders who are convicted of producing child porn can face fines and 15 to 30 years in prison, while those who are convicted of transporting child pornography could face between five and 20 years in prison as well as fines. Upon release, convicted child pornographers will have to register as sex offenders and abide by numerous rules set forth for them including staying a certain distance from a school or daycare center, informing neighbors of their status, and more.
Other factors can influence the overall sentencing including things like:
- Criminal history
- Whether or not images are violent or sadistic in nature
- Whether or not the minor was sexually abused
In certain cases, offenders can be sentenced to life in prison.
Child Pornography Profile
There is not any one type of person who is in possession of child pornography and no easy way to recognize the offender. But it is understood in law enforcement that many people who are in possession of child pornography are not always involved in the sexual abuse of children. It is unknown how many people access illegal images and video online without ever touching a child. Prior to the Internet, from ⅕ to ⅓ of those arrested for child pornography possession were involved in abuse. Today, the Internet makes it very easy for people to obtain illegal materials online without ever actually touching a child themselves.
People who are in possession of child pornography typically come from various walks of life and may not show warning signs. Child pornography users online often are in a relationship with an adult, are employed and have an IQ that is above average. Many of them are college educated and do not have a criminal record. Those who have been arrested on child pornography charges include teachers, photographers, rock stars, soldiers, police officers, judges and dentists. They tend to be white, male and from 26-40.
Types of Online Child Pornography Offenses
There are different types of Internet behavior that are classified as engaging in the use of, distribution of or possession of child pornography. Below are the most common typologies; a person who engages in any of these patterns can be potentially charged with some type of child pornography violation:
- Browsers: This is where an offender stumbles onto child pornography online but saves the images with knowledge. They do not network with other offenders. Even though they came across the images by accident, they saved them, so this is a criminal offense.
- Private fantasizers: The creation of digital images for their private use to satisfy their sexual desires. They do not network with other child porn offenders but their private fantasies are indirectly abusing victims.
- Trawlers: Offenders who look for child porn on the Internet via open browsers. They may network in limited fashion with other users.
- Non-secure collectors: Offenders who seek illegal images in chat rooms that are not secure, or other open areas on the Internet. They network with other offenders, but there are limits to the number of images they can find as they are on unsecured networks.
- Secure collectors: These are offenders who are members of secured, closed newsgroup or another type of secret pedophile ring. They network heavily and use a high level of security to protect their illegal activities from being detected. They have access to a high number of images because they are accessing hidden areas of the Internet. These users often engage in obsessive levels of collecting, and even cataloging and cross referencing images.
- Groomers: These are offenders who groom online relationships with children. They may send pornographic images to children as part of their grooming process. This is a direct abuse of children. They may or may not be networking with other offenders, but their contact with children means they are at high risk of detection.
- Physical abusers: These are offenders who abuse children sexually and also have an interest in child pornography.
- Producers: These offenders record children being sexually abused and disseminate the material to others. This is a direct abuse of children and is at high risk of detection.
- Distributors: The direct dissemination of abusive images. Some offenders have a pure financial interest in child porn.
Child Pornography Distribution
Child pornography is one of the most rapidly growing online businesses, with annual revenue estimated at $3 billion and growing. The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection states that child pornography is distributed through two major ways. First, it is a commercial product that is distributed and sold for profit. Second it is a non-commercial product that is offered at no charge and traded among various sex offenders, such as P2P networks. The ASACP states that the US has the biggest share of commercialized child porn websites, with more than 50% of the volume of the entire world.
Child Pornography Defenses
More than 90% of people who are charged with a federal crime, including child pornography, plead guilty. Most who go to trial end up being convicted. However, while child pornography possession charges are serious, but there are some defenses that are available:
- Not in Possession – The most common defense is that the child pornography in question does not belong to the defendant. This defense might be used when the content that is found is on a computer that may be used by others, such as a work computer. It is possible that another party downloaded the illegal content and then the defendant was wrongly accused of doing it. This defense also may be used if an agree spouse or a disgruntled employee downloads the content to try to frame the person. The individual who did this then may tell the police about it to get the defendant arrested. The defense can possibly use this defense by hiring a computer forensic expert to show when and how the content was downloaded. The defense may be able to show that the defendant could not have downloaded the child pornography. Similarly, the defense may argue that the person did not know that the images were on the computer. Perhaps there were only a few images, or were stored in a way that suggests that the person did not know they were there. If the images for example are buried in a subfolder on your computer that you never even accessed, the defense can argue potentially that the images were there without your knowledge. Remember: The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were aware of the images on the computer and that they were child pornography. If your Internet search history shows no evidence that you ever looked for child pornography and the folders which contain the images on your computer were never accessed, it may be possible to raise sufficient reasonable doubt that you were in possession of the images and knew what they were.
- Content Is Not Child Pornography – For content to be child pornography, it has to meet a specific definition. This is illegal content that usually shows naked children or content that is sexually explicit that features children. If the content does not have children in it, then it is not child pornography. There also is certain content that is exempted per the Motion Picture Association of America, including some films and drawings. Also, content that has a scientific or educational purpose is not child pornography.
- Unintended Possession – It also is possible for the possession to have been unintentional. This defense can be used if a person accidently is in receipt of child pornography via email or accidently clicks on something that is child pornography on a website. It is possible to go to a certain website by typing an incorrect character and then illegal content could automatically download. The defense can help to establish such a defense by proving that the defendant spent a very limited time on that site.
- Illegal Search – The defendant may be able to argue that there were procedural errors made during the arrest process that were in violation of the Constitution. For instance, the defendant might argue that the child pornography seized by law enforcement was taken illegally. This defense can be used if the search warrant was obtained illegally because the police officer who got the search warrant lied to obtain it. In other cases, police may go beyond the scope of the search warrant, such as searching a laptop computer that was not specifically named in the search warrant.
- Psychological Addiction – This type of defense can be used in some instances to help to minimize the sentence if you are convicted. This will not result in a dismissal of charges usually, but it may help the convicted person to get a treatment program sentence rather than incarceration.
- Entrapment – Entrapment may happen when the police do a sting where a person is arrested after encouraging him to commit a crime that he would not have committed otherwise. Once the defendant has downloaded or paid for the child pornography, law enforcement places the person under arrest. This defense can be used when that was not clearly labeled child pornography is involved.
Child Pornography Sentencing Guidelines
Sentencing for child pornography is always taken very seriously, and after a conviction there will be numerous things taken into account to determine what sentence will be handed down. Things such as criminal history, the nature of the photos, the amount of photos made available, and much more will all be factors in sentencing. However, light sentences are very rare due to the nature of this crime.
Child Pornography Statute of Limitations
There is no current statute of limitations for child pornography at the federal level. This means that offenders can be charged at any time after their offense. State statute of limitations may exist, however, but since nearly all child pornography cases will be federal crimes there is likely to be no statute of limitations in place.
Child Pornography Cases
William Kenneth Stewart – Dr. Stewart was a respected oceanographer, but was discovered to have hard drives holding a total of 22,000 child pornography images.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Case – The CBLDF defended a 38 year old comic collector from child porn charges stemming from ‘crude images in a comic book’. A plea deal led to a conviction for obscenity, but the case generated a discussion as to the depiction of children in other forms of media
Child Porn Laws by State
In all states, whether someone is convicted of possession, manufacturing, purchasing, or distribution of child pornography, they must register on the State Sexual Offender Registry. How long they must register and what that entails varies per person, although most states require registration for life.
AL Code Section 15-20A-5 (2013) covers child pornography and classifies it as a Class C felony. This leads to between one and 10 years in prison and a fine of no more than $15,000. Repeat offenders face more severe consequences.
AS 11.61.127 – Possession of Child Pornography covers this crime in Alaska. It classifies it as a class C felony, but punishments vary depending on the degree of the sexual assault and how many priors the offender has and what they are related to. They range up to 99 years in prison, with a presumptive range that is dependent on the age of the child and the number of previous offenses.
ARS Section 13-3553 covers child pornography in Arizona. It classifies it as a class 2 felony, resulting into 10 to 24 years in prison for each violation, as well as fines.
Arkansas Code Title 5 Chapter 27: Offenses Against Children covers child pornography. All crimes under this statute are felonies, but sentences vary:
- Class A – Six to 30 years in prison and fine of up to $15,000
- Class B – Five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000
- Class C – Three to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
California has several statutes in the penal code covering child pornography:
- Section 311.1, 311.2 (Knowingly sending, transporting, producing, possessing or duplicating child pornography with intent to distribute)
- California Penal Code Section 311.3 (Sexual exploitation of a child)
- California Penal Code Section 311.4 (Knowingly hiring, employing, using, persuading, or coercing a minor to participate in the production of child porn)
- California Penal Code Section 311.0 (Knowingly advertising obscene child porn for sale or distribution)
- California Penal Code Section 311.1 (Knowingly possessing or controlling any child pornography that was produced using a person under 18)
Sentences vary depending on charge:
- Possession – Fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to one year in jail. Repeat offenders have more severe sentences (two to six years).
- Distribution – Up to one year in jail or prison and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Repeat offenders can be charged a $50,000 fine.
- Commercial transport, distribution, or advertisement – State prison from two to six years and a fine of $50,000 to $100,000.
- Coercion – Three to eight years in prison
Colorado revised statutes covering child pornography and related sentences are:
- Section 18-6-403 (sexual exploitation of a child). Class 3 felony – Four to 12 years in prison
- Section 18-6-404 (procurement of a child for sexual exploitation). Class 3 felony – Four to 12 years in prison
- Section 18-3-405.4 (internet sexual exploitation of a child). Class 4 felony – Two to six years in prison
Substitute House Bill No. 5525, Public Act No. 14-192 covers child pornography in Connecticut. This defines:
- 1st degree possession as a Class B felony – Five years minimum prison sentence
- 2nd degree possession as a Class C felony – Two years minimum prison sentence
- 3rd degree possession as a Class D felony – One year minimum prison sentence
Title 11, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Delaware Criminal Code, Chapter 5 – Specific Offenses, Subchapter V. Offenses Relating to Children and Vulnerable Adults, Section 1109 Dealing in Child Pornography, classifies this as a Class B felony. This leads to two to 25 years in prison.
Florida Statutes Title XLVI. Crimes Section 827.071 defines child pornography as a 2nd (maximum of 15 years in prison, fine of up to $10,000) or 3rd (maximum of five years in prison, fine of up to $5,000) degree felonies.
Several statutes cover child pornography in Georgia, including:
- Distributing Obscene Materials – OCGA Section 16-12-80
- Sexual Exploitation of Children – OCGA Section 16-12-100
- Electronically furnishing obscene material to minors – OCGA Section 16-12-100.1
- Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1999: O.C.G.A Section 16-12-100.2.
These statutes define whether the crime is a felony or misdemeanor and at what level, as well as what the punishment is, ranging from probation to prison time.
Hawaii has numerous revised statutes covering child pornography and sentences, including:
- Section 707-750: Promoting Child Abuse in the First Degree – Producing Child Pornography – Class A felony – Up to 20 years in prison, fine of up to $50,000.
- Section 707-751: Promoting Child Abuse in the Second Degree – Distributing Child Pornography – Class B felony – Up to 10 years in prison, fine of up to $25,000.
- Section 707-752: Promoting Child Abuse in the Third Degree – Possessing Child Pornography – Class C felony – Up to five years in prison, fine of up to $10,000.
In Idaho, Sections 67-1410 and 67-1401 of Idaho State Legislature cover child pornography:
- Possession can lead to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Distribution and creation can lead to up to 30 years in prison.
Illinois has complex laws relating to child pornography under Criminal Code of 1962 Section 11-20.1:
- A class 1 felony – Imprisonment of four to 15 years
- Possession – Class 3 felony.
- Class X felony (aggravated child pornography) – Six to 30 years.
- Fines of between $1,000 and $100,000 in all cases.
- Increased sentences for repeat offenders.
Indiana covers child pornography under Code Title 35 Criminal Law & Procedure: Articles 42 – Offenses Against the Person and 49 Obscenity and Pornography. Crime levels and sentences vary depending on age of victim and circumstances of the crime:
- Level 1 Felony – 20-40 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000
- Level 2 Felony – 10-30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000
- Level 3 Felony – 3-16 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000
- Level 4 Felony – 2-12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000
- Level 5 Felony – 1-6 years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000
- Level 6 Felony – 6 months to 2.5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000
- Class A Misdemeanor – up to 1 year imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000
Under Iowa Code Annotated Section 728.12, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, there are different levels of crime relating to child pornography:
- Class C felony – Up to 10 years imprisonment, fines of $1,000 to $50,000.
- Class D felony – Up to five years imprisonment, fines of $750 to $25,000.
- Aggravated misdemeanor – Up to two years imprisonment, fines of $625 to $6,250.
Kansas child pornography laws are covered under KAN. STAT. ANN. Section 21-5510. Prison sentences are determined through grid systems. Off grid punishments can be imposed, which can lead to the death penalty if the offender was at least 18 and the victim younger than 13. Sexual exploitation leads to 55 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $300,000.
Kentucky covers child pornography under several statutes, each with different penalties depending on other factors such as the age of the victim. They include:
- Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.320: Producing Child Pornography – Class C to Class A felony. Class A leads to between 20 and 50 years (life) in prison.
- Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.335: Possession of Child Pornography – Class D felony. Class D felony leads to one to five years in prison.
- Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.340: Distributing Child Pornography – Class D felony for first offense, C for subsequent offenses.
- Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.350: Selling Child Pornography – Class A misdemeanor for first offense, Class D felony of second offense, Class C felony for subsequent offenses. Class C felony leads to five to 10 years in prison. Class A misdemeanor leads to between 90 days and 12 months in jail and a $500 fine.
Fines of $1,000 to $10,000 are also imposed.
Louisiana covers child pornography under Pornography Involving Juveniles – La R.S. 14:81.1:
- Possession – Five to 20 years without parole, fine of up to $50,000.
- Distribution – Five to 20 years without parole, fine of up to $50,000.
- Consent to participation – Five to 20 years without parole, fine of up to $10,000.
- Production – 10 to 25 years without parole, fine of up to $15,000.
- If the offender is older than 17 and the victim younger than 13, prison of between 25 to 99 years will be imposed.
Maine’s statutes and punishments relating to child pornography include:
- Revised Statute section 282: Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (Production of Child Pornography) – Class B crime for first, Class A for repeat offenses or victims younger than 12.
- Revised Statute section 283: Dissemination of Sexually Explicit Material (Distribution of Child Pornography) – Class C crime for first, B for repeat, A if the victim is younger than 12.
- Revised Statute section 284: Possession of Sexually Explicit Material (Possession of Child Pornography) – Class D crime for first, C for repeat or if the victim is under 12.
Maryland has different codes for different offenses, as well as different punishments:
- Maryland Code Section 11-208 – Possession – Up to 5 years and/or up to $2,500 fine for first offense, up to 10 years and/or up to $10,000 fine for repeat crimes.
- Maryland Code Section 11-207 – Production or Distribution – Up to 10 years and/or up to $25,000 for first offense, up to 20 years and/or up to $50,000 fine for repeat crimes.
- Maryland Code Section 3-305(d)(1) – Kidnapping – Up to life in prison.
Massachusetts covers child pornography under Code 18 USC, sections 2260, 2256, 2252, and 2251:
- Possession – Up to 5 years in state prison, fines of $1,000 to $10,000.
- Distribution – Between 10 and 20 years in state prison, fines of $10,000 to $50,000 or three times the economic gain.
- Production – Between 10 and 20 years in state prison, fines of $10,000 to $50,000.
Michigan has numerous relevant codes and punishments for child pornography:
- Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Material (child pornography): Michigan Penal Code Section750.145c(4). Felony – Up to four years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines.
- Distribution of Child Sexually Abusive Material: Michigan Penal Code Section750.145c(3). Felony – Up to seven years in prison, up to $50,000 in fines.
- Production of Child Sexually Abusive Material: Michigan Penal Code Section750.145c(2). Felony – Up to 20 years in prison, up to $100,000 in fines.
Minnesota child pornography laws are covered under 617.247 – 2017 Minnesota Statutes – Revisor of Statutes:
- Possession – Five years in prison, fine of up to $5,000 for each piece.
- Sharing – Seven years in prison, fine of up to $10,000.
- Production – 10 years in prison, fine of up to $20,000.
Under the Mississippi Child Protection Act of 2012 and Sections 97-5-31 and 95-5-33 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, in Mississippi, child pornography charges can lead to five to 40 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines.
Missouri Chapter 573: Pornography and Related Offenses covers child pornography offenses. The charges and penalties vary depending on conduct and age of the victim:
- Class A felony for manufacturing child pornography where the child is younger than 14 – 10 to 30 years in prison.
- Class B felony for manufacturing child pornography where the child is younger than 18 and for promotion – Five to 15 years in prison.
- Class C felony for promotion or possession – Up to seven years in prison, fine of up to $5,000 or twice the financial gain up to $20,000.
- Class D felony for wholesale promotion and possession – Up to four years in prison, fine of up to $5,000 or twice the financial gain up to $20,000.
- Class A misdemeanor for promoting porn to minors – Up to one year in jail, fine of up to $1,000.
- Civil cases for sexual battery are also recommended.
Under 46-23-502(9), MCA, Montana covers child protection and its punishments as:
- Possession – Up to 10 years in prison,
- Distribution and creation – Up to 100 years in prison
Under NEB. REV. STAT. Section 28-813.01 and 18 U.S.C. Section 2251 et seq., child pornography is a Class 4 felony (5 years in prison, $10,000 in fines) if the offender is younger than 19. Those older than 19 are convicted of a Class 3 felony (20 years in prison, $25,000 in fines).
Nevada statutes relating to child pornography include:
- Code sections 200.710 and 200.720: Producing Child Pornography – Class A felony – Life with parole, fine of up to $100,000.
- Code section 200.725: Distributing Child Pornography – Class B felony – Up to 15 years in prison, fine of up to $15,000.
- Code section 200.730: Possessing Child Pornography – First offense is Class B felony (one to six years in prison, $5,000 fine). Subsequent offenses are Class A felony (one year to life, fine of up to $5,000).
New Hampshire codes relating to child pornography include:
- Revised Statutes section 649-A:3-b: Manufacture of Child Sexual Abuse Images – Up to 30 years in prison or life for repeat offenders.
- Revised Statutes section 649-A:3-a: Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Images – Up to 20 years in prison or 30 years for repeat offenders.
- Revised Statutes section 649-A:3: Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Images – Between seven and a half and 15 years in prison, fine of up to $4,000. Up to 20 years for repeat offenders.
New Jersey covers child pornography under N.J. Stat. Ann. Section2c:24-4 et seq. Sentences are:
- Five year minimum for first offenders and 10 years for repeat offenders.
- No Early Release Act.
- Extended sentences for repeat offenders.
Under New Mexico Statutes – Chapter 30 – Article 37 – Sexually Oriented Material Harmful to Minors
New Mexico has different punishments for different acts relating to child pornography:
- Possession – 18 months in jail.
- Distribution – Up to three years in jail.
- Creation – Up to nine years in jail.
Under New York Penal Law Section 263 (Sexual Performance by a Child):
- Possession – Class E felony, up to four years in prison, fine of up to $5,000.
- Facilitation – Class B felony, three to 25 years, fine of up to $5,000.
North Carolina has different statutes and punishments for child pornography:
- C. General Statute Section14-190.16: First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (production) – Class C felony: 44 to 92 months imprisonment for first offender
- C. General Statute Section14-190.17: Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (copying or distributing) – Class E felony: 15 to 31 months in prison
- C. General Statute Section14-190.17A: Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (possession) – Class H felony: Four to 8 months in prison
North Dakota covers child pornography under:
- North Dakota Code 14-09-22 – Abuse of child – Penalty
- Chapter 12.1-06.1 – Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Sections 12.1-0.61, 01 through 12.1-06.1, and 7.
- North Dakota Code : Chapter 12.1-27.1
- These laws classify child pornography crimes as a class C felony for distribution, promotion, allowing participation. This leads to up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Ohio’s relevant codes for child pornography are:
- Ohio Revised Code Section2907.321: Pandering obscenity involving a minor
- Ohio Revised Code Section2907.322: Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor
- Ohio Revised Code Section2907.323: Illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or
- All charges are 4th or 2nd degree felonies depending on facts.
- Two to eight years in prison for 2nd degree.
- Six to 18 months in prison for 4th degree.
Under OKLA. STAT. SectionSection 21-1021 through 1024.5; 1040.12A:
- Possession, procurement, and purchase of child pornography – Felony – Up to 5 years imprisonment, fine of up to $5,000.
- Loaning, giving, downloading, distributing, selling, making child pornography – Felony – Between 20 days and 10 years imprisonment, fine of between $500 and $20,000.
- Procuring or consenting to participation – Felony – Up to 20 years imprisonment, fine of up to $25,000.
- Showing child pornography to minors – Felony – Between 10 and 30 years imprisonment. Minimum of 25 years if the victim was under 12.
- Aggravated possession – Up to life, fine of up to $10,000.
- Failing to report for professional people – Up to one year in prison, fine of up to $500.
Under 2015 ORS 163.670, Using child in display of sexually explicit conduct. This crime is classed as a Class A felony, leading to 20 years in prison.
Under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. 7621, production of child pornography is a 2nd degree felon leading to up to 10 years in prison. Distribution and possession is a 3rd degree felony (up to five years in prison) for first offenders and a 2nd degree felony (up to 10 years) for subsequent offenders.
Under RI Gen L Section 11-9-1.3 (2013), those convicted of child pornography offenses face a prison sentence of up to 15 years and/or fines of up to $5,000.
South Carolina has different sections in their code relating to child pornography:
- SECTION 16-15-395. First degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Three to 20 years in prison.
- SECTION 16-15-405. Second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Two to 10 years in prison.
- SECTION 16-15-410. Third degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Up to 10 years in prison.
Under South Dakota Codified Laws section 22-24A-3: Possessing, Manufacturing, or Distributing Child Pornography:
- A first offense is a Class 4 felony – Up to 10 years in prison, up to $20,000 fine.
- Subsequent offenses in 15 years are Class 3 felonies – Up to 15 years in prison, up to $30,000 fine.
- Selling child pornography is a Class 6 felony – Up to two years in prison, up to $4,000 fine.
Tennessee covers child pornography under Code Sections 39-17-1003: Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 39-17-1004: Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and 39-17-1005: Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Penalties are:
- Class A Felony – 15-60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000
- Class B Felony – 8-30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
- Class C Felony – 3-15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Class D Felony – 2-12 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
Any proceeds gained through child pornography are sent to the state child abuse fund.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 43.25, et seq., sexual performance of a child can range from a class A misdemeanor (up to one year in jail, fine of up to $4,000) to a 1st degree felony (five years to life, fine of up to $10,000). Possession can be a 3rd degree felony (two to 10 in state prison, fine of up to $10,000) or a 2nd degree felony (two to 20 years in prison, fine of up to $10,000) degree felony.
Under Utah Criminal Code section 76-5b-201: Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, child pornography is a 2nd degree felony (one to 15 years, fine of up to $10,000). Distribution is a separate crime that relates to intimate images, meaning it applies not just to children. This is a Class A misdemeanor for first offenses, elevated to 3rd degree for subsequent offenses.
Under Vermont Statutes Title 13 Chapter 64: Sexual Exploitation of Children:
- Production – 10 years in prison, $20,000 fine for first offenders; 15 years in prison, $50,000 fine for repeat offenders.
- Possession – Varies depending on the depiction, ranging from two years in prison and $5,000 fine, to 10 years in prison and $50,000 fine.
Under Child Pornography: VA Code 18.2-374.1, child pornography is a felony. The degree of the crime depicts the level of sentence.
Under Child Pornography: Chapter 9.68a RCW:
- 1st degree possession – Class B felony – 12 to 24 months and three year probation for first offense. Up to 10 years for repeat offenders.
- 2nd degree possession – Class C felony – Three to nine months in county jail, one year probation for first offense. Five years in prison for repeat offenders.
- 1st degree viewing – Class B felony as above.
- 2nd degree viewing – Class C felony – Zero to 12 months in county jail, one year probation for first offense. Five years in prison for repeat offenders.
- Production is a felony with prison term of up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine.
- Distribution is a felony with sentences depending on how many images were distributed. It ranges from up to two years in prison and $2,000 fine to 15 years in prison and $25,000 fine.
Under Wisconsin Legislature: 948.12, child pornography is a Class I felony if the offender is younger than 18 and a Class D felony if older. A minimum three year prison sentence is imposed. For Class I felony, up to three and a half years in prison and $10,000 fine can be imposed. For Class D felony, up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 fine can be imposed. Harsher penalties are placed on repeat offenders.
Under WY Stat Section 6-4-303 :: 6-4-303. Sexual exploitation of children:
- Sexual exploitation of children is a felony resulting in five to 12 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
- Sexually explicit material involving children is a felony resulting in up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
- Second offenses result in seven to 12 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
- Pulido, M., Ph.D. Child Pornography: Basic Facts About a Horrific Crime. (2014, Jan. 23). Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-l-pulido-phd/child-pornography-basic-f_b_4094430.html
- Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. Child Pornography on the Internet. (2006). Retrieved from http://www.popcenter.org/problems/child_pornography/print/