What is Distribution of Child Pornography?
Distribution of Child Pornography is the criminal act of transferring to or sharing with others images or videos of nude children or engaged in sexual conduct. Images may consist of actual photographs, animated drawings, sketches, or electronic images.The law bars simply possessing these images and videos. Transferring or sharing them with others is viewed as more egregious or aggravating misconduct. The manner of transferring or sharing the material has little bearing on culpability or punishment. Distribution of Child Pornography simply requires a transfer of the material from one person to another. The illicit material may be exchanged in person, sent through the mail system, or shared electronically such as via email, file transfers or otherweb-based technology, text or instant messaging, or posting them online.
Profit or consideration is not required to complete the offense of Distribution of Child Pornography. One may distribute the illegal material, whether image and/or video, as part of a sales transaction in exchange for money or other consideration of value. However, this is not required to be charged with Distribution of Child Pornography. The offense also includes circumstances where one individual distributes the image and/or video to another as a gift, free of charge or in the absence of anything in exchange. Sharing is also a form of distribution.
Law enforcement authorities charged with investigating and prosecuting Child Pornography Offenses employ undercover agents on the internet and in internet chat groups to locate child pornography collectors and purveyors. These undercover agents pose as individuals seeking to acquire, sell, or trade child pornographic materials in order to ferret out those individuals who truly possess and distribute these materials. Law enforcement officials also apply for and use search warrants to seize personal possessions of suspected offenders, especially computer and other electronic media where child pornography can be stored and from which it can be transferred. Suspected offenders include both those who distribute the materials as well as the individuals who receive them.
Penalties for the Distribution of Child Pornography are related to the quantity or volume of images and/or videos distributed, as well as the number of transfers or persons to whom the materials are sent. The more photos or images, the greater the sentence a court is likely to impose against a convicted offender. Similarly speaking, the more transfers, the higher the likely sentence to be imposed. The rationale behind this is that the more people in possession of child pornographic materials, the greater the risk or likelihood that these individuals will further disseminate or share the materials with others.
If you have been charged with distribution of child pornography and need expert legal representation, contact the RI/MA defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.