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Child Pornography: Frequently Asked Questions


 

Child pornography is  the visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. It is defined under  federal law (Title 18, U.S.C. Section 2256 B (8) and state law (Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Title 11, Subtitle 207).

2.  What child pornography laws exist in Maryland?  

Refer to Maryland Code, Criminal Law Sections 11-207: Child Pornagraphy and 11-208: Possession of Visual Representaion of Child Under 16 Engaged in Certain Sexual Acts.

3. What are the main types of child pornography, defined under Maryland law?

According to §11–207:

(a) A person may not:

(1) cause, induce, solicit, or knowingly allow a minor to engage as a subject in the production of obscene matter or a visual representation or performance that depicts a minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct;

(2) photograph or film a minor engaging in an obscene act, sadomasochistic abuse, or sexual conduct;

(3) use a computer to depict or describe a minor engaging in an obscene act, sadomasochistic abuse, or sexual conduct;

(4) knowingly promote, advertise, solicit, distribute, or possess with the intent to distribute any matter, visual representation, or performance:

(i) that depicts a minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct; or

(ii) in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe, that the matter, visual representation, or performance depicts a minor engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct; or

(5) use a computer to knowingly compile, enter, transmit, make, print, publish, reproduce, cause, allow, buy, sell, receive, exchange, or disseminate any notice, statement, advertisement, or minor’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for the purpose of engaging in, facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting unlawful sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct of or with a minor.

4. What are the penalties for pornography in Maryland?

Child pornography (of the five types described above) is subject to up to 10 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine for the first offense and up to 20 years and a $50,000 fine for each subsequent violation. Furthermore, conviction for possession of child pornography will make you a Tier I registered sex offender in Maryland. Conviction of the creation or distribution of child pornography will get make you a Tier II registered sex offender with 25 years on the registry. Other sex crimes or multiple convictions for either of the child porn crimes can get you on the sex offender registry for life. Being on the sex offender registry will severely impact where you can live and work.

5. Who produces child pornography?

Based on information provided by law enforcement to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Child Victim Identification Program, more than half  of child victims were abused by someone who had legitimate access to them, such as parents, relatives, neighbors, family friends, babysitters and coaches. 6. What are the effects of child pornography on the child victim?

6. What are the effects of child pornography on the child victim?

The lives of children are forever altered by the abuse through which child pornography is produced and the  permanent record of the abuse in the form of illegal images and video. While child pornography is illegal and censored in most jurisdictions in the world, it is among the fastest growing criminal segments on the internet.

7.  What can  I do to protect my child from child pornography?

  Please see our Victims Services page for more information on how to prevent and address child pornography. 
 

 

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