The Far Reaching Effects of a Child Pornography Charge
A Tennessee child psychologist is facing serious charges after his arrest by the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children and Human Trafficking Task Force. According to a report in the Sun Sentinel, task force members learned that someone was using various hotel and motel internet services to share images depicting child pornography. Through additional investigations, they traced recent activity to an IP address originating from a Hollywood-area hotel. With a search warrant, detectives searched the accused’s room and reportedly seized two of his computers. Examination allegedly resulted in the discovery of 25 images of children naked or engaged in sexual activity. According to reports, the children depicted in the images ranged in age from nine to 12 years old.
The accused was arrested and charged with 26 counts of charges related to child pornography. Appearing in a Broward County courtroom, the state notified the court of the accused’s occupation and reportedly requested a high bond for the safety of the children he comes in contact with through his work. In setting a bond of $130,000, Judge John Hurley reportedly stated, “The court is not only concerned with the amount of alleged child pornography found on your computer but the court has to consider what you do for a living… The court’s concerned for the safety of perhaps your patients and young people you may come in contact with.”
What is Child Pornography?
The Obscenity chapter of the Florida Criminal Code includes child pornography. The statute generally defines child pornography as “any image of a minor engaged in sexual conduct.” This definition applies to a physical picture or a photo logged into your computer history from a download. It further applies to the possession, transmission or manufacturing of such images.
To further understand the crime, it is also important to consider the legal definition of sexual conduct. Under Florida law, sexual conduct includes, “actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse.” It also includes “physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party.”
Your lawyer may be able to create reasonable doubt about your knowledge of the child pornography, by arguing that the image was downloaded as a “popup” from an adult website or that you clicked on a link, not realizing what content it included. If the charges are stemming from downloads on a public computer, your lawyer may argue that you were not the user in possession of the images.
It is vitally important that you secure the services of an experienced lawyer as soon as you are charged with child pornography. The implications of these charges are far reaching and severe, even before a determination of guilt is made. These cases often attract significant publicity, which may affect your employment and even your family.
If you or a loved one is facing child pornography charges, it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled lawyer in Miami. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.