Sadly, even today, too many children in Massachusetts and around the world are victims of sexual exploitation.
Child pornography is one way children are exploited. According to the US Department of Justice, child pornography is any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years old). Last year alone a total of 3,771 people were arrested in the US on charges of child exploitation.
People who are victims of crimes are not responsible for what happens to them, but sometimes people are falsely accused of crimes. There are certain conditions that need to be met for a person to face criminal penalties.
What Does the Law Say?
Chapter 272, Section 99C of the Massachusetts General Laws says that people who knowingly purchased or possessed an image of a person under 18 years old engaged in sexual conduct or other lewd (offensive) behavior can be punished.
The behavior the law is talking about includes:
What are the Punishments?
A person convicted of possession of child pornography can face up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense. They will also be required to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board, which could have a devastating effect on their life.
Are there Criminal Defenses?
People accused of possessing child pornography may have defenses available to them:
False accusations of possessing child pornography are not uncommon in today’s technological world. For example, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has recently faced hackers who have used his IP address to download child pornography.
Massachusetts' Law on Texting Explicit Adult Photographs Without Consent
The law on who is guilty for possessing child pornography is changing. Currently, the Massachusetts government is considering new legislation that would make it a felony to share a sexually explicit image without the consent of the person depicted. This practice is sometimes called revenge porn.
Under this new legislation, a person may be eligible to complete an educational diversion program as a substitute to prosecution.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT A POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.