The District of Columbia's child pornography laws aim to hit sex offenders where it hurts the most. While the Nation's Capitol provides a few affirmative defenses to the truly innocent, the penalties bestowed upon the D.C. judges to combat this insidious crime can pack a real punch, such as a prison sentence of up to 10 years for the first offense. Below is a general summary of the child pornography laws in Washington, D.C.
District of Columbia Child Pornography Laws: The Basics
In the District of Columbia, child pornography laws state that a sexual performance is any performance which includes sexual conduct by a person under 18 years of age. Sexual conduct is further defined as actual or simulated sexual intercourse, masturbation, bestiality, sadomasochistic sexual activity for the purpose of sexual stimulation, or lewd exhibition of the genitals.
The following table outlines the specifics of District of Columbia child pornography laws.
District of Columbia Official Code §22-31: Sexual Performance Using Minors
Under District of Columbia child pornography laws, a person may not knowingly use a minor in a sexual performance. A person is guilty of this crime if he or she employs, authorizes, or induces a person under 18 years old to engage in a sexual performance.
Parents, legal guardians, or custodians of a minor that consent to the participation of a minor in a sexual performance are also guilty of this crime. The reaches of this crime extend to the producing, directing, and promoting of child pornography. Promoting child pornography can include any procuring, manufacturing, issuing, selling, giving, lending, mailing, delivering, transferring, publishing or distributing of these illegal sexual performances.
It is also unlawful to attend, transmit, or possess a sexual performance by a minor. Transmission and possession of child pornography includes any electronic copies of these sexual performances.
A violation of District of Columbia child pornography laws is a felony and will be punished by:
First Offense: A fine of up to $5,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both.
Second and Subsequent Offenses: A fine of up to $15,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both.
Being accused of violating child pornography laws is extremely serious. If you have been charged under one of the District of Columbia child pornography laws and would like further legal assistance, you can contact a District of Columbia criminal defense attorney through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on child pornography and other crimes against children for more articles and information on this topic.