Child pornography is illegal in all 50 states, to include the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Conduct relating to child pornographic material may be punishable under state and/or federal law. A violation of this child pornography statute is a felony sex offense.
Under Massachusetts criminal law, the crime for Possession of Child Pornography offenses may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 29C
Legal Elements for Possession of Child Pornography
In order to be found guilty of Possession of Child Pornography under Massachusetts criminal law, there must be strong evidence of the following three legal elements:
- that the defendant knowingly purchased or possessed an image
- that the image was of a person under age 18 actually or by simulation (a) engaged in sexual contact between the sexual organs of a child and the mouth, anus or sexual organs of other person or animal, (b) engaged in any act of masturbation, (c) portrayed as the object of, or engaged in any act of lewd fondling, touching or caressing involving any other person or animal, (d) engaged in any act of excretion or urination in a sexual context, (e) portrayed or depicted as bound, fettered, or subject to sadistic, masochistic, or sadomasochistic abuse in any sexual context, (f) depicted or portrayed in any pose, posture or setting involving a lewd exhibition of the unclothed genitals, pubic area, or buttocks, or (g) a female depicted or portrayed in any pose, posture or setting involving lewd exhibition of a fully or partially developed breast of the child
- the defendant knew or of nature or context of the image
What is an Image for Purposes of Child Pornography
Under Massachusetts criminal law, child pornography is defined as any photograph, film, video, image, picture, or computer-generated digital image or video, book, negative, slide, or visual reproduction that displays a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
This may include the minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct alone, with others to include children or adults, or animals.
Proof that the image contains nudity alone is not sufficient for child pornography. The child in the image may either be a real person or a computer generated image or simulation.
Potential Punishment if Convicted of a Child Pornography Crime in Massachusetts
The penalties for Possession of Child Pornography Law may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 29C.
This law provides that convicted offenders may be punished, upon a first offense, by a term of state prison for not more than five years or house of corrections for not more than 2½ years and/or by a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
A defendant convicted of a second offense faces a mandatory minimum term of five years in a state prison and/or a fine ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. Any third or subsequent offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum state prison term of 10 years and/or a fine range from $10,000 to $30,000.
Massachusetts criminal law also imposes enhanced penalties for the more aggravated conduct of producing and distributing child pornography.
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 29A addresses creation or reproduction of child pornographic materials and is entitled “Posing or exhibiting child in state of nudity or sexual conduct.”
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 29B addresses the distribution of child pornographic materials and is entitled “Dissemination of visual material of child in nudity or sexual conduct.”
Convicted offenders of either offense shall be sentenced to no less than ten years and no more than twenty years in state prison and/or a fine of ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
Any child pornography crime under Massachusetts criminal law is a felony. Any such crime is also a sex offense for which convicted offenders must comply with statutory sex offender registration and mandatory counseling or treatment requirements.
Charged or accused of possession of child pornography? Call (508) 213-9113 to schedule a free consultation with Top Massachusetts Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers that are experienced with Possession of Child Pornography defense.