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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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There was this pornography website that I came across last

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There was this pornography website that I came across last week. It seemed legitimate and had the following disclaimer about 18 U.S.C. 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.

____________________

However, after looking at the site it clearly seemed like here and there was a picture of a girl not 18. I reported the site on an anonymous site that allows reporting to the authorities for this kind of thing.

Will I get in trouble simply for going to the site, although they have a compliance policy? That is, will I get in trouble for going there because they say compliance is not 100% accurate and an image may slip in that shouldn't be there and which might come up on my screen even though I don't click on it and leave the site when I see it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. In order for the Government to successfully prosecute someone for accessing or uploading child pornography there must be an indication of some kind, either in the frequency or duration of the presence on a child pornography site or page, that indicates that it was more than just an accidental event. If this Site represents itself as only knowingly having content of adult pornographic material, then unless, as I mentioned, someone has a history of "accidentally" viewing more than one child pornographic video or photo on more than one occasion, there is no real threat of criminal liability.

That said, now that you have gone to this Site and know that they really are not policing their content, it would be prudent to stay off of the Site in the future. Law enforcement does have investigative methods where they can trace who has accessed a website that is known to contain child pornography.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So if I go to the site and they have images posted and one of them happens to be of someone under 18 can I be held criminally liable for visiting the site? Even though I never clicked on the image?

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Marc--As I mentioned, just going to the Site once is not enough for a conviction. However, if someone returns to a Site that contains child pornography on more than one occasion, then that is going to get the attention of law enforcement. Then that person would have to potentially defend themselves from charges. That said, if they did not actually view the pornography and that can be established, then that would be a defense. But again, going back to a Site that someone knows has child pornography on it is asking for trouble from law enforcement.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17256
Experience: Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
Marsha411JD and 9 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How long would it take for law enforcement to show up at my door? Weeks, days, couple of months? It seems unfair that a person should be held criminally liable for going to a site that advertises itself as legitimate.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Well again, I don't think you have anything to worry about at all from your description of the events, so you are likely worrying for no reason. Just stay away from that Site. As far as when law enforcement might contact someone who accesses child pornography, that can be anywhere from a few days to a few months, but generally not any longer than that. But, the good thing is that you apparently reported this, so that shows that you did not go to that Site looking to find child pornography.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Because it took me a while to actually see a questionable image. I went to the site more than once, but only recently started seeing a questionable image here and there. But I did report it a few days ago via an anonymous reporting site set up for this kind of thing. So if they wanted to establish intent they have two conflicting pieces of information: that I actually reported the site to another website that will report it to authorities, and that I visited the site several times. I clearly didn't go there for the purpose of finding child pornography. I would never do that. I just stumbled upon it a handful of times when seeing the site.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Alright, well that is good for you and I doubt seriously that you have anything to worry about. Of course if you were to be contacted by law enforcement, you don't want to make any kind of statement unless and until you speak to a local criminal defense attorney.

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