There has been a surge of investigations, arrests and prosecutions for internet sex crimes. Downloading, possessing, manufacturing and delivering Child Pornography are all serious crimes, punishable by jail, fines, sex offender registration, sex offender counseling, and numerous "special conditions" that restrict your ability to access the internet or be around children. There are also collateral consequences, like losing your job, your housing, your student loans, and even having the Family Court become involved in your life. If you are being investigating for a Child Pornography crime in Rhode Island, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your team.
What is child pornography?
It is a violation of Rhode Island Law for any person to:
(1) Knowingly produce any child pornography;
(2) Knowingly mail, transport, deliver or transfer by any means, including by computer, any child pornography;
(3) Knowingly reproduce any child pornography by any means, including the computer; or
(4) Knowingly possess any book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, computer disk, computer file or any other material that contains an image of child pornography.
Child pornography means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct where:
(i) The production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(ii) Such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
(iii) Such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to display an identifiable minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
What is the punishment for child pornography?
If convicted of possessing child pornography in Rhode Island State Court, the Court could impose a sentence of a fine up to $5,000 or jail up to 5 years. If convicted of producing, reproducing or delivering child pornography, the Court could impose a sentence of a fine up to $5,000 and jail up to 15 years. In addition, the conviction carries a mandatory consequence of complying with the Rhode Island Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Falsely Accused of Child Pornography
In order for someone to be found guilty of possession of child pornography the State of Rhode Island must prove that they were knowingly in possession of these images. There are many defenses to the charge, such as:
- Images that are on your computer but not known to you, like unopened email or popups that were not downloaded onto your hardrive.
- There have been reported cases where computers have been "hijacked" without the owner's knowledge and used for the transmission of child pornography.
- Images that depict adults, not children.
- Images that are downloaded as part of a "torrent," where a large amount of legal images are saved and the illegal images were not known to you.
- Faulty search warrants or other 4th Amendment violations.
- Forensic computer errors by the police.
Call Kara Hoopis Manosh, Attorney and Counselor at Law for a comprehensive case strategy session in order to explore all of these possible defenses for your case. (401)714-8926.