Two police officers, a Boy Scout leader, and a rabbi are not the typical professions you would expect to be associated with child porn. This is however just a handful of the 71 people that New York, Federal investigators arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of children. The long list of people also included a registered nurse, an airline pilot, and a paramedic.
According to Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent James Haynes and New York City officials, many of the individuals arrested had “Extensive libraries of sexually explicit images and videos of children.” Local and federal law enforcement agencies collaborated earlier in the year to attack the issue of child pornography-sharing in the New York area.
After an extensive investigation, 150 Internet protocol (IP) addresses were linked to computers actively trading the illegal material. 87 search warrants were executed and 600 computers containing tens of thousands of illegal images of children were seized.
Of the 71 arrested was Mount Pleasant Police Department chief Brian Fanelli. He pleaded not guilty to knowingly receiving and distributing child pornography, according to the Associated Press. Samuel Waldman, a rabbi and instructor of Judaic studies was also arrested on similar charges.
Child pornography is a serious crime and the federal and local governments each punish violators of this law severely. As the case in New York shows though, it does not take the most heinous individual to commit these crimes. Several of those charged had previously been upstanding citizens and contributors to their communities.
It does not take a hardened criminal to be involved with a child pornography case. If you are facing child pornography-related charges, you will need a capable attorney to aggressively defend you.
Child Pornography Law (California Penal Code Section 311)
Child pornography is dealt with harshly in the state of California. According to California Penal Code Section 311, any material that depicts minors engaged in or simulating sexual conduct is considered child pornography. A child is anyone under the age of 18 years old.
According to PC Section 311, sexual conduct is defined as:
- Any intercourse performed in a lewd and lascivious manner between people or between people and animals;
- Sadomasochistic abuse;
- Masturbation; and
- Showing the genitals.
If any of these acts with minors are manufactured or distributed, you can be found guilty of a child pornography offense. Prosecutors will try to prove that you knowingly committed the act and that you knew the person involved was under 18 years of age.
Penalties for Violating California Penal Code Section 311
If you are convicted of violating California Penal Code Section 311 for knowingly purchasing or distributing child pornography, the consequences will be severe. Whether you are prosecuted in state or federal court depends on your criminal history and the severity of the crime.
Although child pornography is usually charged as a felony, it can be charged as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor child pornography sentence includes:
- Imprisonment in county jail for up to one year; and
- Fines up to $2,500.
A felony child pornography sentence includes:
- Imprisonment in California State Prison for between sixteen months and eight years; and
- Fines up to $100,000.
More importantly, a child pornography conviction can result in lifetime registration as a sex offender. This will affect where you can live and your ability to get a job.
Call the Child Pornography Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are facing allegations of possessing or distributing child pornography under California Penal Code Section 311, it will undoubtedly place a great deal of stress on you and your family. Not everyone can control what happens on their computers this day and age, especially with the constant free flow of media on the Internet. This is why you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney who has successfully defended other individuals charged of this crime. The attorneys at Wallin and Klarich have been defending our clients accused of this crime for over 30 years.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, Wallin & Klarich has an established reputation of providing its clients with round-the-clock support.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 to discuss your case. We will get through this together.