The possession, distribution and production of child pornography are crimes that are aggressively prosecuted by state and federal authorities. Increasingly, child pornography laws are being used to punish the use of computer technology and the Internet to obtain, share and distribute pornographic material involving minors under the age of 18, including films and images. Special and distinct divisions of law enforcement at the federal and state level have been established to crack down on those who use the Internet to download and share child pornography. Federal statues include stiff, mandatory and minimum sentences as well as sex offender registration for those convicted of crimes involving child pornography.
Similar to the federal laws, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 29C makes purchasing or possessing child pornography a criminal offense. The prosecutor must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a defendant of this crime:
1. The defendant purchased or possessed pornographic material of a person under the age of eighteen. Pornographic material means visual material of almost any medium that, either actually or by simulation, exhibits: (a) sexual intercourse with a person or animal; (b) sexual contact; (c) masturbation; (d) lewd touching; (e) excretion or urination in a sexual context; (f) sexually sadistic, masochistic or sadomasochistic acts; (g) lewd display of genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female breast(s);
2. The defendant purchased or possessed such material knowingly;
3. The defendant had knowledge of the nature or content of that material; and
4. The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the child shown in that material was under the age of eighteen.
A person can be charged and convicted of possession of child pornography even if that person had no idea it was on his or her computer. The mere presence of pornographic images on a computer, even if it was downloaded without your knowledge or deleted, can implicate you in these crimes. A forensic computer technician will be able to recover most data erased through conventional deletion methods, and also are able find bits and pieces of information that is left behind when you search the internet, or open files.
At the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, our attorneys have years of experience in criminal defense. As new laws are passed to stop the possession and distribution of child pornography, law enforcement agencies are becoming more attentive to, and are training their officers on how to detect and find persons searching and possessing such materials. We are constantly monitoring the changes in the law in order to effectively protect our clients.
Our Boston Internet Crime defense lawyers defend clients who have been charged the distribution and possession of child pornography. Our goal is to protect your rights and develop strategies that defend you effectively against child pornography possession and distribution charges. We advise anyone who believes they may be under investigation for child pornography possession or distribution to Contact Us immediately so we can begin to defend them. In some instances, our attorneys have been able to stop our clients from being charged at all, preserving their careers, families and futures.
If you believe you are presently being investigated, or have recently been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography, please call the Massachusetts Law firm of Altman & Altman, LLP for a free initial consultation, 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 (toll free) or contact us online.