Distribution of Child Pornography
No crime is more hideous than distributing child pornography. A mere accusation of this crime can distract loyal friends, judges, jurors and prosecutors from the truth. Anyone charged with the crime needs to hire a lawyer who is experienced in defending these crimes. They need someone who works tirelessly with them on their defenses. They need an attorney like Stephen Neyman who has successfully defended people charged with this type of crime in Massachusetts.What is Distribution of Child Pornography?
The statute prohibiting this activity is Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 29B. The elements of the offense are simple: 1) anyone who, with lascivious intent distributes or possesses with the intent to distribute an item 2) depicting someone under eighteen years old in a state of nudity, or that depicts that someone under the age of eighteen engaged in sexual conduct, is guilty of a felony. Unlike other sexual activity, where the age of consent is sixteen, there is no defense of consent to an accusation of this . Rather, if the person is under the age of eighteen, regardless of his or her desire or complicity, consenting to the dissemination of the material is not a defense. The statute is strictly construed.What Defenses are Available to Me?
This statute is extremely broad making it easy for the district attorney to charge someone with this crime. However, it is important to realize that the breadth of this law also favors many defenses, all of which our office considers when defending sex crimes of this nature. Some of the defenses come right out of the statutory language. For instance, the phrase “lascivious intent” has a legal meaning that must be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Proof of that intent requires a demonstration of the intent of sexual arousal or gratification. That is, in and of itself, not easy to prove. Other defense focus on the mind set of the accused. Did he or she intend to “distribute” the forbidden material? Massachusetts, like most states, treats file sharing or peer to peer programs as a form of distribution. Today, these programs are the most common way people access child pornography files. However, oftentimes intent can be determined from this use of these programs. Was the defendant actively trading the material or simply using the programs to possess the files? How computer literate was the defendant? Did the defendant say to the police that might suggest a lack of sophistication with the file sharing process? In other cases the defense is that the defendant was not the person who committed the act. Was it actually the accused who viewed, possessed or distributed the images or could it have been someone else? Suppression of unlawfully seized evidence is always investigated in these cases. If your constitutional challenge is successful your case will likely be dismissed. If you have been charged with this crime you need the services of a lawyer like Stephen Neyman to defend you.What are the Penalties if I get Convicted?
They are severe. In Massachusetts a conviction for a first offense is a mandatory ten years in state prison. There is no parole until at least ten years have been served. There is also a fine of up to fifty thousand dollars. There is no house of correction alternative for a conviction under this statute. Sex Offender Registration is mandatory and everyone who gets convicted of this crime is going to be listed as a level three sex offender.
As onerous as these charges are you can help yourself by hiring the right lawyer right away. Our office can help.