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By: Law Offices of Mace J. Yampolsky

Can I Be Charged With A Sex Crime If I Received Pornographic Pictures Of Someone Below The Age Of Consent?

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In some cases, age of consent offenses are treated almost like strict liability offenses, which makes them a bit anomalous in criminal law. A person should only receive a criminal conviction if they intentionally, voluntarily, knowingly, and willingly committed an illegal act. In the case of an unsolicited picture of a child that constitutes child pornography being sent to someone, it will be critical to demonstrate that there was no willingness or intention on the part of the receiving party. It will have to be shown that they didn’t solicit the photo, engage in a prolonged exchange with the child that precipitated the photo, or lead the child to the inexorable conclusion that that’s what they were asking for.

In most of these cases, demonstrating the guilt or innocence of the receiver will not be as simple as showing evidence of a literal request to (or not to) send photos. As a result, we infer the intent from the conduct of the actors. If the adult had been having what many people would constitute as inappropriate conversation with the child prior to receiving an unsolicited photo, then that would factor in to the case. On the other hand, if the preceding exchange occurred between a student and teacher, wherein the teacher was simply saying that an assignment was not turned in, then there would be a certain amount of defensibility to the teacher’s actions.

What Are Some Important Things To Know About Age Of Consent In Nevada?

The age of 21 is really critical in dealing with age of consent cases. This is because the crime of statutory rape is treated differently for people who are under the age of 21 than it is for people over the age of 21. The existence of prior convictions also comes into play. The law views statutory rape as a crime that might happen in the ordinary course once, but when it happens subsequent times, the crimes are looked upon with a raised eyebrow, and the conclusion is that there is nothing happenstance about them. For example, if a 30-year-old man continually finds himself in relationships with 14 and 15-year-old girls, then the argument will be that it is the man’s modus operandi. The gap in age difference between parties and the number of years beyond 21 is critical, as it determines whether or not the perpetrator will receive a B felony carrying one to 10 years in prison, or a gross misdemeanor or D felony which would likely result in probation only.

Defenses are limited in statutory rape cases, especially for people over the age of 21. In terms of false accusations, it comes down to whether it can be demonstrated factually that nothing happened, which is like proving a negative: it’s difficult to do. Consent will not be available as a defense because individuals who are 16 or younger cannot manifest legal consent. These cases involve a lot of fact-specific inquiries. If there’s a potential motivation for a false accusation, then the victim might be investigated and it will need to be determined whether the victim has a history of making false allegations. In some cases, a child will make false accusations in response to being punished by a parent’s significant other. It is probably safe to say that while 14 and 15-year-old kids are still kids, many of them have acquired adult-level manipulation skills, so it is always critical to see if there is some motive for a child to imperil the adult they have accused.

For more information on Receiving Underage Pornographic Pictures, a free legal consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (702) 385-9777 today.