Queens Child Pornography

Child pornography has been huge problem for years both in New York and across the country. It has become an even greater problem over the last couple of decades with the growth in the use of the internet. It is now easily accessible online. Those who are so inclined can easily use a digital camera to produce child pornography and in minutes upload it to the internet. Because this is such a huge problem that leaves child victims physically, emotionally and psychologically injured law enforcement has dedicated significant resources to trying to apprehend those involved in child pornography. Under New York criminal law all child pornography offenses are felonies. If you are convicted you could end up in prison for up to 25 years, with 10 years of probation, and with a criminal record. In addition, you will have to register as a sex offender. Therefore, if you have been charged with possessing or promoting child pornography you should immediately contact an experienced Queens Child Pornography Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and work closely with you to develop a strong defense to fight the charges.

Child Pornography Laws

Under New York law child pornography is referred to as a sexual performance by a child. The law prohibits using and promoting a sexual performance by a child as well as possessing a sexual performance by a child. Sexual performance is defined as sexual conduct by a minor who is less than 16 or 17 years old. Examples of sexual conduct include sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, bestiality, masturbation, sadomasochism, or lewd exhibition of the genitals. In order for the conduct to be classified as a sexual performance, the child does not have to actually be engaged in the conduct. Simulating the conduct is enough. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.00. "Performance" means a play, motion picture, photography , dance or any other any other visual representation exhibited before an audience.

  • Using a Child in Pornography. Under New York Penal Law it is a Class C felony to use a child who is under the age of 17 in a sexual performance. "Using" is defined as being responsible for a minor taking part in a sexual performance. This means that if you hire or force a minor to participate in a sexual performance or in any way authorize a minor to be part of a sexual performance, you will have committed the crime of use of a child in a sexual performance. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.05. Because the definition of performance includes photographing, you can be charged with use of a child in a sexual performance if you take a photo of a child performing sexual conduct or simulating sexual conduct.

  • Promoting a Child in Pornography. Another child pornography crime is promoting a sexual performance by a child. This involves producing, directing or promoting a performance despite the fact that it involves sexual conduct by a child who is under 17 year old. This is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.15. If the child is under 16 years old and the sexual performance is obscene, then you will be charged with promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.10. An obscene sexual performance is defined as one that involves an actual or simulated sex act, has no artistic, literary or scientific value. N.Y. Pen Law § 235.00(1)

  • Possessing Child Pornography. Possessing child pornography is knowingly possessing material that contains a sexual performance by a child who is under 16 years old. The word "possess" has a broad meaning. If you have control over the material, or if you have accessed it with the intent to view it, then you could face a charge of possessing a sexual performance by a child. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.16. A similar charge is possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child . If the material you possess, control or access contains an obscene sexual performance by a child then you will face this charge. It is also a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.11

  • Facilitating a sexual performance by a child with a controlled substance or alcohol. The most serious child pornography offense is facilitating a sexual performance by a child with a controlled substance or alcohol. You will be charged with this crime if you give a minor drugs or alcohol in order to get the child to perform or simulate a sex act. This crime is a Class B felony. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.30

If you are charged with a child pornography offense you may also face other charges such as statutory rape, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, drug possession, or kidnapping.

Defenses to Child Pornography Charges

Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be a number of defenses to child pornography charges. Two statutory defenses include age and occupation.

  • Age. It is a defense to a child pornography charge is that the person involved in the sexual performance is not a child or that you had a good faith belief that the person is was not a child. If the person involved in the performance is at least 17 years old, then that person is not a child as defined by the statute. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.20(1). In determining whether or not you reasonably believed that the child was 17 years old or older, the court will consider not just your word, but the appearance of the child, a photograph or video that shows the sexual performance, witness testimony, expert medical testimony, as well as any other admissible evidence. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.25

  • Occupation. If your job incidentally requires you to come in contact with child pornography, you cannot be charged with child pornography based on that contact. Examples of jobs that might cause you to incidentally come in contact with child pornography include librarian, a motion picture projectionist, stage employee, spotlight operator, cashier, doorman, usher, candy stand attendant, porter, or other non-managerial or non-supervisory theatre job. On the other hand if you have one of these jobs and also are the owner of the product or investor in it, or you are responsible for promotion, presenting or directing the performance or acquiring material, the defense will not help you. N.Y. Pen Law § 263.20

Consequences of a Child Pornography Conviction

If you are convicted of a child pornography crime, you could end up in prison for many years. Child pornography is considered so serious that each child pornography charge is a felony. The least severe charges are possessing a sexual performance by a child and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child. Each is a Class E felony, carrying maximum sentences of 4 years in prison. Promoting a sexual performance by a child and promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child are both Class D felonies, with maximum sentences of 7 years in prison. If you are convicted of use of a child in a sexual performance, a Class C felony, you could be sent to prison for up to 15 years. The most serious child pornography charge is facilitating a sexual performance by a child with a controlled substance or alcohol. As a Class B felony, if you are convicted, you could go to prison for 25 years.

If you are convicted of any of the 6 child pornography crimes in addition to going to prison, you will also have to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). SORA requires those convicted of certain registrable offenses to register with a designated law enforcement agency upon conviction or upon release from prison. You will be required to provide personal details such as your name, your aliases, your home address, a photograph and your email addresses and screen names. For sex offenders who present a significant risk of re-offending, this information will be made public. Anyone will be able to go to the online sex offender directory and find your name, home address, your photograph, details about your crime and other information about you. Under SORA you will have to register for either 20 years or for the rest of your life.

Being charged with child pornography can have a permanent damaging impact on your life. If convicted you could end up incarcerated for several years. For this reason if you are facing child pornography charges you should immediately consult an experienced Queens Child Pornography Lawyer. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully representing clients in New York criminal courts who are accused of possessing, using and promoting child pornography, statutory rape, child sexual assault, public lewdness, indecent exposure, endangering the welfare of a child as well as other serious crimes. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of sex crimes in the following locations:

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