Federal law makes it a serious crime for any person to “sexually exploit” a child. Federal prosecutors often use this law to file internet related sex crime charges against a person. If you are found guilty of sexually exploiting a child, you will likely serve years in federal prison. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you have been charged with any type of federal offense.

What is the Federal Crime of Sexual Exploitation of a Child?

18 USC 2251 is the federal statute that sets forth the law on the sexual exploitation of children. According to this law, you are guilty of a crime if you:

  1. Persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, and
  2. Do so for the purposes of producing visual depictions of that conduct.

Further, 18 U.S.C. 2251A prohibits any parent, legal guardian, or other person in custody of a minor to buy, sell, or transfer custody of that minor for purposes of producing child pornography.

Note that a federal prosecutor can bring criminal charges under federal law when an offense occurred in interstate or foreign commerce. A crime takes place in interstate or foreign commerce, for example, if an offender uses the U.S. mail system to transport child pornography across state or international borders. In addition, federal charges may result when an accused is suspected of using the internet to commit an offense.

What are the Penalties?

A conviction of sexually exploiting a child can result in:

  • Fines, and/or
  • Imprisonment in federal prison for years.

The specific penalties for the crime will range depending on the facts of every individual case.

Note that defendants will receive more severe penalties if they have prior convictions under either state or federal law.

Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?

Yes. Fortunately, people charged with sexually exploiting a child can contest the charge with a legal defense. A common defense is for an accused to show that the authorities somehow violated his/her constitutional rights. For example, it’s possible that law enforcement:

  • Arrested you without probable cause,
  • Coerced a confession, or
  • Arrested you after conducting an unlawful search and seizure.

If any of the above occurred, a judge may reduce a charge or dismiss a charge in its entirety.

Contact Black & Askerov for Help

While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge an exploitation charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced federal crime attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various sex charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!