A recent sentencing in Texas demonstrates the stiff penalties that can face those accused of distributing child pornography online.
The Dallas Morning News reported on how a sex offender from Arlington was sentenced to 40 years in prison on November 15, 2013, after he admitted sharing child pornography online.
Recently we noted how the FBI had released a list of the most wanted cyber criminals in the United States.
While these crimes involved some elaborate schemes, the most common cases we see involving the Internet are those in which users are accused of distributing child pornography or soliciting a minor.
Barry Robert Turner, 43 admitted emailing a woman a video of a man having sex with a toddler in December 2012, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The woman had placed an ad on Craigslist seeking someone interested in taboo phone sex, and Turner responded to it, the report stated. Investigators said they exchanged photos, text messages and the video, in the following months.
Turner had been previously sentenced to two years in prison in 2005 for indecency with a child by sexual contact, according to state records.
In Federal court there are often enhanced penalties if the internet is alleged to have been employed in the commission of the crime. These kinds of crimes may entail investigations by many agencies.
A recent U.S Department of Justice study on child pornography on the Internet states: “Internet child pornography is unlike most crimes local police departments handle. Local citizens may access child pornography images that were produced and/or stored in another city or on another continent.
“Alternatively, they may produce or distribute images that are downloaded by people thousands of miles away. An investigation that begins in one police district will almost certainly cross jurisdictional boundaries. Therefore, most of the major investigations of Internet child pornography have involved cooperation among jurisdictions, often at an international level.”
In other words this can be a rather complex crime involving multiple investigators.
Offenses involving child pornography raise a multitude of complicated legal and technical issues related to internet crimes. We have experience defending individuals charged with a variety of types of alleged computer crimes and frequently represent people charge with distributing child pornography through file sharing software. If you have any reason to believe you are being investigated for a criminal offense involving the internet, it is important that you make no statements to law enforcement officials and that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.