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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23426
Experience:  14 years practicing criminal defense.
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I came a new pornography website last week. It seemed legitimate

Resolved Question:

I came a new pornography website 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, looking at the site lately it clearly seems like here and there is 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? It seems like it is a legitimate adult pornography website, and 99% of it is adult pornography. The rest is unintentionally there.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Will I get in trouble simply for going to the site, although they have a compliance policy?
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No, if there are unintentional underage photos on the site, then that is a legal issue the site is going to have to deal with. It becomes illegal if you download any illegal images onto your computer as it then becomes possession of child pornography.
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As long as you aren't saving it or forwarding it to others, if it unintentionally comes up on your screen, then you wouldn't be breaking any laws and wouldn't have anything to worry about.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. Isn't there something in federal law and most state laws that make possession of child pornography illegal. So if for example 100 images come up on my screen when I'm on the website, and 98 of them are of people 18-years old or older, and 2 of them are of, say, 15-year olds, can they make a claim that I "possessed" child pornography on my computer?


 


Take a look at this one lawyer's site, which talks about the federal statute defining possession and receiving:


 


http://www.hmanuelhernandezlaw.com/Federal%20Child%20Pornography%20Statutes%20and%20Prosecutions.htm


 


So if the two images are among the 100, does that mean I received or "possessed" them?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
No, as the site discusses, there must be the required "mens rea" or "intent to possess" before someone can be criminally charged. So you have to intend to possess them in order to be breaking the law. Further, you must also take some type of affirmative action to keep them. I can look at items on Ebay all day long, but I don't "possess" them.
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If them merely appearing on someone's computer screen were enough to violate the law, then the FBI could simply get the IP addresses for every user who logged onto a site where there was a few underage photos and charge them all.
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So no, if there was no intent to possess, accidental exposure is not enough to violate the law.
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Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23426
Experience: 14 years practicing criminal defense.
Barrister and 11 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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