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CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

In Pennsylvania, the crime of child pornography is found under 18 Pa.C.S. 6312 — “Sexual abuse of children.” This is one of the most serious criminal offenses that forever taints an individual’s personal and professional life.

Because of the serious nature of these allegations, an alleged offender can feel as though he or she has been presumed guilty before he or she even set foot in a courtroom. However, there may be several possible explanations as to how an innocent person may have inadvertently viewed material considered pornographic.

Material with children can be accidentally downloaded on a home computer, cell phone, or other mobile device. In some cases, more than one person might use a computer and not realize the images are on the computer. In other cases, the images might depect a child but should not be considered child pornography at all.


Child Pornography Attorney in West Chester, PA

Charges involving pornographic material featuring children require a skilled and experienced defense attorney.  The Skinner Law Firm fights to protect the rights of individuals accused of sexual offenses in Chester County and Delaware County.

As a former Assistant District Attorney, Michael J. Skinner is knowledgeable about how prosecutors handle criminal cases and where to find the flaws in the charges against you. He can review your case during a free, completely confidential consultation.  Skinner Law Firm has offices conveniently located in  West Chester in Chester County.

We can begin your defense today. Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation today.


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Pennsylvania Definition of Child Pornography

Child pornography is defined primarily by three sections — promoting, possessing, and distributing. Any person who allows a child under the age of 18 years old to engage in a prohibited sexual act or simulation of such an act and has reason to know that the act may be photographed, videotaped or depicted on a computer — or any person who knowingly photographs, videotapes or depicts a child under the age of 18 years old engaging in a prohibited sexual act or simulation of such act — commits the offense of promoting child pornography. Under this subsection, a mistake of age is no defense.

Any person who intentionally views or knowingly possesses or controls “any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act” commits the offense of possession of child pornography.

Any person who knowingly sells, distributes, delivers, disseminates, transfers, displays or exhibits to others, or possesses for the purpose of sale, distribution, delivery, dissemination, transfer, display or exhibition to others, any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years old engaging in a prohibited sexual act or simulation of such act commits the offense of distribution of child pornography.

A  “prohibited sexual act” is defined broadly. It means generally sexual intercourse, masturbation, sadism, masochism, bestiality, fellatio, cunnilingus, lewd exhibition of the genitals or nudity if such nudity is depicted for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who might view such depiction.

The law also has narrow exceptions for scientific, governmental, educational or judicial purposes. In addition, the statute distinguishes the separate crime of sexually explicit images transmitted by a minor (this is punishable under a separate statute).

A conviction for one or more of the above list offenses is a felony. Under Pennsylvania law, anyone convicted of a child pornography offense must register as a sexual offender. The registration period is either 15 years, 25 years, or for life. In addition, a defendant may be branded a “sexually violent predator” which would require more stringent registration requirements.


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Defenses to Child Pornography

Some people may download pornographic material featuring children without even knowing it, and many others may inadvertently view it or receive it. There are many unfortunate, honest accidents that can put an individual in a very difficult place. Even after an image or video has been deleted and wiped from a computer, digital traces likely remain.

A rigorous investigation by a skilled criminal defense attorney working with forensic experts can help you determine if one of the other following defenses may apply to your case:


Types of Child Pornography Charges under Pennsylvania Law

Attorney Micheal Skinner represents clients on a wide range of charges. This chart shows a list of different types of Child Pornography Charges under Pennsylvania Law with a description, the statutory class, the offense gravity score, and the prior record score points.

18 Pa.C.S. §   DESCRIPTION STATUTORY CLASS §  303.3 OFFENSE GRAVITY SCORE §  303.7 PRIOR RECORD SCORE POINTS
6312(b)* Sexual abuse of children—photographing/etc. sexual acts (13-‹18 years) F-2 8 2
6312(b)* Sexual abuse of children—photographing/etc. sexual acts (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) F-2 9 2
6312(b)* Sexual abuse of children—photographing/etc. sexual acts: when indecent contact depicted (13-‹18 years) F-1 10 3
6312(b)* Sexual abuse of children—photographing/etc. sexual acts: when indecent contact depicted (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) F-1 10 3
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination (13-‹18 years)
(First offense)
F-3 6 1
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination (13-‹18 years)
(Second/subsequent offense)
F-2 8 2
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (First offense) F-3 7 1
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (Second/subsequent offense) F-2 9 2
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination: when indecent contact depicted (13-‹18 years) (1st offense) F-2 9 2
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination: when indecent contact depicted (13-‹18 years) (Second/subsequent offense) F-1 10 3
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination: when indecent contact depicted (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (1st offense) F-2 9 2
6312(c)* Sexual abuse of children—dissemination: indecent contact depicted (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (Second/subsequent offense) F-1 10 3
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children—possess child pornography (13-‹18 years) (First offense) F-3 6 1
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children—possess child pornography (13-‹18 years) (Second/subsequent offense) F-2 8 2
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children—possess child pornography (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (First offense) F-3 7 1
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children—possess child pornography (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (Second/subsequent offense) F-2 9 2
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children—possess child pornography: when indecent contact depicted (13-‹18) (First offense) F-2 9 2
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children—possess child pornography: when indecent contact depicted (13-‹18 years) (Second/subsequent offense) F-1 10 3
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children—possess child pornography: when indecent contact depicted (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (First offense) F-2 9 2
6312(d)* Sexual abuse of children-—possess child pornography: when indecent contact depicted (‹13 years or determination of prepubescence) (Second/subsequent offense) F-1 10 3

 


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Finding an Attorney to Fight Child Porn Charges in Chester County, PA

If you have been accused of filming, possessing or distributing pornographic material featuring children, it is imperative for you to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Skinner Law Firm defends clients against these charges in Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout Pennsylvania.

Read more about child pornography crimes in Media and Delaware County, PA. Related charges include statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, photographing sexual acts, depicting sexual acts, sexual abuse of children and corruption of minors.

The attorneys at Skinner Law Firm provide an honest and thorough review of your case. Our offices are conveniently located in West Chester in Chester County, PA. Call us today for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.


This article was last updated on Friday, February 5, 2016.

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