Possession/Distribution of Child Pornography
Experienced Defense Attorneys Serving Bangor, Biddeford, Augusta, Portland and Saco Maine
Child pornography can be defined as any depiction of sexually explicit acts involving a child, whether through images or film. It is illegal to produce, posses, and/or distribute child pornography in any form, and is punished severely under the law. Child pornography is often viewed and distributed among pedophiles who become sexually aroused by the depictions of children engaging in sexual acts. The child victims are often brutalized in the production of child pornography, and this offense is often an extension of child prostitution and/or human trafficking practices.
The Mayo Clinic, a non-profit medical research based organization in the United States, reported that around 76% of individuals who were arrested for the possession of pornography had molested a child at some point, and that 30%-80% of individuals who view child pornography on the internet had also acted out on their impulses at one point. Under the law, child pornography is sometimes hard to define and/or classify and prosecute as a sex crime. Classifications of such have been roughly outlined in scales of increasing severity of inappropriate nature, including:
- Erotic Posing: This is an inherently sexualized depiction of children, whether fully clothed or partially naked, by deliberately posing them in an erotic manner
- Explicit Erotic Posing: Whether partially clothed or naked, it is any depiction that emphasizes the genital area
- Explicit Sexual Activity: Images and/or videos illustrating explicit sexual acts between children or alone, but without the presence of an adult
- Assault: Depictions of children being sexually assaulted by an adult
- Gross Assault: Depictions of a child engaging in grossly obscene sexual acts with an adult
- Sadistic: Images involving a child being physically tortured or subjected to pain in a sexual manner/rape
What penalties will I face if I'm found guilty?
If found guilty of possessing and/or viewing child pornography, an individual will be required to register in the sex offender database-meaning that they will have to continually update their information when they choose to move, maintain employment, or attend school in another jurisdiction. This information will be viewable by the public, including what charges a person was convicted of. Also, a person may be subject to federal and/or state charges.
According to Maine Code §284, being in possession of any sexually explicit material that involves a minor less than 16 years of age would result in a class D crime in the state of Maine. A class D offense is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine. If in possession of child pornography where the minor is less than 12 years old, an individual would be charged with a class C crime-resulting in up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. If an offender has had one or more prior convictions, the severity of the crime, and the resulting penalties, will be increased, as well.