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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 15760
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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My friend showed me this pornography website the other day

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My friend showed me this pornography website the other day because he's into this kind of thing though I'm not. I'm worried because though it would seem to be a popular site, some of the images of the girls on there looked pretty young. They state about U.S.C. S. 2257 compliance:

Sex.com is not a producer (primary or secondary) of any or all of the content found on the website www.sex.com. With respect to the records as per 18 USC 2257 for any and all content found on this site, please kindly direct your request to the site for which the content was produced.

Sex.com is a picture & video sharing site that allows for the pinning, uploading, sharing and general viewing of various types of adult content, and while Sex.com does the best it can with verifying compliance, it may not be 100% accurate.

Sex.com abides by the following procedures to ensure compliance:

Requiring all users to be 18 years of age to upload videos.
When uploading, user must verify the content; assure he/she is 18 years of age; certify that he/she keeps records of the models in the content and that they are over 18 years of age.

They specifically state that they may not be 100% accurate and that's when I got worried. What if some of the models on there were under 18? (I didn't click on any of the pictures). Would I get in trouble under federal or new jersey law simply for having gone to the site on my computer?

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

Customer:

Ok thanks

ScottyMacEsq :

No. Child pornography laws require intent. That is, that you went out looking for underage porn. Even if it was clearly underage, and you viewed it, that would not be enough. You would have needed to actually seek it out.

ScottyMacEsq :

Notice that most of the people that are charged have thousands of pictures, etc... on their computers, which is what can be used to establish intent.

ScottyMacEsq :

(also searches, etc... can be used for that purpose)

ScottyMacEsq :

But a single instance of going to a website would almost certainly not be enough to even support an indictment, much less a conviction.

Customer:

ok I came across a scenario on the internet though let me get the link for you

ScottyMacEsq :

Okay...

Customer:

in this case, the guy said it was an accident and he wasn't into child pornography at all

Customer:

but he got 5 years!

ScottyMacEsq :

Generally the proof still has to be that there was an intent to do this. I don't know the facts behind this case (considering it's a "friend" of the author, I would assume that some facts are being left out), but further torrent files are different than websites. Torrents come from other IP addresses, whereas websites come from one specific address. The FBI would almost certainly not have any way of finding your IP address from visiting that website.

ScottyMacEsq :

If you downloaded something from a torrent site, then that would be different (as torrents can log your IP address, etc...)

Customer:

But the site itself sure looked like it was legal and legitimate. I'm just worried about when they say they can't guarantee 100% compliance. But I suppose that would go to the issue of intent? If I only went to the site thinking it was legitimate and legal- which it appears to be- then they couldn't really fault me if one of, say, 1000 images was of a 17 year-old, could they? I never clicked on anything like that.

ScottyMacEsq :

Exactly.

ScottyMacEsq :

There's no indication that this was your intent at all.

ScottyMacEsq :

And if that was an issue, you would see a lot more child porn prosecutions.

ScottyMacEsq :

They really only go after the clearly bad actors...

Customer:

And they probably couldn't track my IP address anyway, right? I know they're on the internet looking for pedophiles, but they're generally not on what for all intents appears to be a legitimate legal site tracking people's IP addresses, right? Wouldn't they need some kind of warrant to do that anyway?

ScottyMacEsq :

That's correct.

ScottyMacEsq :

It's easy to do that with torrents because someone's computer would be asking theirs for the file.

ScottyMacEsq :

(and that's how they get the IP)

ScottyMacEsq :

But that's not the case with websites.

Customer:

ok, thanks for your help.

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

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