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When you first think about child pornography the first thing that comes to mind is probably an older man sitting behind a computer screen watching the child be sexual exploited online, or they may be the individual behind the camera committing the act. Can you believe that people all throughout the United States and possibly world-wide seek pleasure in this? They find the websites and streams online and sometimes on chat sites. They may pay a fee. The users may keep their identity hidden.
The sick thing is that they probably do not see this as offensive. They may even think that because they are watching the act that they are still not at fault for the crime because they are not physically committing the offense. These same individuals may have their own children a home and say that this will not happen to their child, but the one on the screen may fit their pleasure. This child carries a look of youthfulness and vulnerability.
This child may even look mature for their age, the stigmatic’s matter for some but for other users it may not. What the users may not know is that this is a federal offense, and that some people behind bars do not think to highly of individuals taking advantage of children. Child pornography is not just a rich man’s offense and it’s not just limited to male’s, females watch it as well.
Child pornography could range from explicit images or videos being taken and recorded on camera and online of a minor under the age of eighteen.
Within certain age the age of consent waivers, but in most states it’s eighteen. Sexually explicit conduct includes acts such as intercourse, bestiality and masturbation, as well as lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area CITATION Gew18 l 1033 (Gewirtz-Meydan, Walsh, Wolak, & Finkelhor, 2018). There are officially two types of material considered child pornography, simulated, or digitally generated, and pornography produced with the direct involvement of the minor CITATION HGo19 l 1033 (HG.org, 2019). Child pornography doesn’t necessarily mean isn’t just a picture of a youth, it’s a picture of a youth committing a sexual or explicit act. Child pornography is a common trend within the darknet.
Another, component of child pornography that many youths and adults are unaware is an illegal offense within child pornography is sexting. Sexting is defined as using your phone to send sexual pictures, videos, or texts might seem like no big deal (Parenthood, 2019). I believe that people do this unknowingly. Youth do this in a relationship by sending pictures of each other to one another, but what they do not consider is what may happen to the photo or video once they are no longer together. Youth and adults are known for boasting what another on what they have done with their significant other, in either admiration or in anger. In ager, it could be leaked online where it can never truly go away, or the individual could end up being blackmailed. This happens to people daily, and people don’t even think of it until it is to late and the pictures cannot be erased because someone may have screenshotted or downloaded the video on picture or the person who is in possession of the images or video may have multiple copies. An example of sexting gone wrong happened in North Carolina where two teens were caught sexting one another. The male was charged because he was eighteen while his girlfriend was seventeen years old. The images were on their phones and the school found out and pressed charges. The courts decided to make to an example of both youths by placing them on probation as well as told the young man that if he violated the probation that he would go on the sex offender list.
The federal government in the past couple of decades have been trying to crack down on child pornography by increasing the penalties and offenses. The federal government has even started to increase the sentencing on child pornography. When it comes to child pornography it is illegal to commit the offense. While just being in possession of child pornography is not an offense no matter how long they have been watching or how much they pay for it, in which is just as sick, but its not an offense. Simple possession of child pornography does not carry a mandatory minimum for first-time offenders; however, receipt of child pornography does CITATION Fam19 l 1033 (Minimums, 2019). There are two statutes but three offenses within child pornography. The first statute is 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252, 2252A CITATION Fam19 l 1033 (Minimums, 2019). Possession is when the individual actual has an image or video. When it comes to first offenses the mandatory minimum is zero years, but if it is categorized as a statutory offense the offender could be sentenced to ten years. Within possession if this person has been charged before the person will receive a mandatory minimum sentencing of ten years. The statutory maximum would be up to twenty years. When it comes to transportation or distributing or even the intent to distribute to sell the first-time offense as a mandatory sentencing would be five years, and the statutory sentencing would be twenty years. If, the offender is being held to a statutory sentencing they will have to serve up to twenty years behind bars. A reoffender would be serving up to fifteen years as a minimum sentencing, and the statutory maximum would be up to forty years.
The statute for this offense is 18 U.S.C. § 1466A CITATION Fam19 l 1033 (Minimums, 2019). First time offenders who are possession of sexual abuse of children would not be given a mandatory minimum sentence but if they are given a statutory maximum sentence, they are given a sentence up to ten years. Now, if they have committed this act before they given a mandatory minimum of ten years and if they are sentence to a statutory maximum, they are given twenty years. If, there are receipts, or copies of child pornography of visuals or even of sexual abuse being committed to or against children first time offenders will be given either a mandatory minimum sentencing of five years. If, the offender is classified as a statutory maximum then they will be sentenced to twenty years. Reoffenders will be given a mandatory sentencing of fifteen years and statutory maximum will be given forty years. When it comes to sentencing for child pornography the technicalities could be a little bit heavy handed when it comes to certain cases and the age each state deems an individual as a minor.
Ways to prevent child pornography is to report it. Minor have an issue with reporting child pornography because they either feel like no one will believe them or they feel fearful. The child needs to tell their parents and if their parents do not believe them report it to law enforcement. Sometimes the person getting molested knows the individual in some way, and they must realize that this person does not truly have any power over them. Children need to know that child pornography is composed of photos of children being abused sexually and that it is not okay, and that no one should have to go through this no matter who they are or where they come even if they are American or foreign. People need to support their local law enforcement and realize that every law enforcement officer does not have evil attention and that they can beneficial to their community. Community policing is such a resourceful tool within the community because it helps establish as well as build a relationship between law enforcement and the community. This way if a child is suffering in anyway or is being abused, they should come forward even if its anonymously because there are hotlines created to help children and adults alike who are being abused or molested, and they should seek out resources that can beneficial to them in seeking the help and assistance they truly need.
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