The Collateral Damage of a Child Pornography Charge
Allegations of child pornography are some of the most difficult charges to endure. Regardless of your guilt or innocence, these cases attract the attention of the public, often resulting in media coverage. The accused are tried and convicted in the public eye, long before the case makes it trial. Loss of job, family problems and the mark of a sexual predator (even if undeserved) often accompany the charges. Proving your innocence and restoring your reputation takes a stellar defense and the services of a highly capable lawyer.
Numerous newspaper reports provide real life examples. As reported by The Washington Post, a Florida priest was recently arrested and charged with child pornography. The clergyman is accused of showing his cell phone to a 14-year-old parishioner. According to the reports, the priest sent the boy a Facebook message asking for help with his cell phone. Later in the week, he allegedly gave the phone to the minor and asked him to erase about 40 pictures of nude preteen boys. The young man notified his father, who contacted West Palm Beach Police.
The incident has made national headlines and placed leaders in the church under the media’s microscope. The priest is reportedly from India and experienced some trouble there for involvement with a boy. Upon coming to America, he was allegedly prohibited from contact with minors without the supervision of another adult. The Diocese of Palm Beach reportedly denied any knowledge of misconduct in India.
Child Pornography Laws in Florida
Under Florida law, child pornography is defined as “any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct. While minors are classified as individuals under the age of 18-years old, the definition of sexual conduct is a bit more complicated. The Florida Statute generally defines sexual conduct as:
- simulated intercourse ;
- bestiality, masturbation or sadomasochistic abuse;
- lewd exhibition of genitals;
- physical conduct with the genitals, buttocks or breasts of a party (clothed or unclothed) for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification; or
- any act of sexual battery.
From a legal standpoint, what is not included in this definition is just as important as what is included.
- A mother breastfeeding her baby is specifically excluded from the definition.
- Child erotica is also not classified as illegal. This includes children who are photographed nude or partially nude, but the details of the picture do not meet the criteria for sexual conduct.
It is a third degree felony in Florida to manufacture, distribute, possess, or transmit child pornography.
When defending a client against child pornography charges, the lawyer may use various angles to counter the allegations. He or she may argue that the material in question does not meet the definition of sexual conduct. The authenticity of the images may also come into question, along with the definition of possession. With an experienced lawyer, you may be able to beat these life altering charges and restore your good reputation.
If you or a loved one is facing child pornography charges in Miami, we can provide you with an aggressive and comprehensive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC in Miami today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.