Once a photograph or video is uploaded onto the Internet, it becomes almost impossible to retrieve. When a minor is shown in a sexually explicit manner in any photograph or video, it can be considered child pornography. Such material is considered an exploitation of the child and may be prosecuted under possession, distribution or production-related charges. Any video or photograph that shows provocative images of a child is considered illegal generally and a federal crime specifically.
When information is uploaded to the Internet, it becomes very difficult to trace its origin. Some sex offenders have been known to post photographs and videos on frequently viewed websites to find people who are interested in such content. Bulk emails may also be sent by offenders. The data may pass through different people, and some may unknowingly receive it. People may be accused of possession of child pornography even if they download the content mistakenly.
Authorities view child pornography crimes very seriously, and if a person is convicted, the person may be required to register as a sex offender. People need to be aware that keeping any files on their computer or in their possession that show unclothed children may lead to serious consequences. A conviction on these charges may lead to fines, penalties, arrests and a criminal record. The person may always carry the stigma of the crime, as it is very sensitive in nature. Any person who believes that he or she may be arrested for child pornography, even if possession of these images is completely accidental, should take measures immediately to protect his or her rights and should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney accordingly.
Source: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, “What is child pornography?”