Producing Child PornographyIn Florida, Fl. Stat. 827.071 prohibits the production of any performance that involves the sexual conduct of a minor. Performances are specifically defined under state law as plays, movies, photos, visual representations, or dances that are exhibited before an audience. Convictions have harsh consequences, as this offense is considered a second degree felony, which means that defendants could end up spending 15 years in prison for each count and be required to register as a sex offender.
Using a Minor in the Production of Harmful MaterialsIt is also unlawful under Fla. Stat. 847.012 to use a minor in the production of harmful materials, such as:
- Pictures, photos, drawings, sculptures, movies, or visual representations of a person or a part of the human body, if it depicts nudity, sexual excitement, sexual conduct, sexual battery, abuse, or bestiality that is harmful to minors
- Books, pamphlets, magazines, sound recordings, and any printed matter, regardless of how it was reproduced, that contains sexual conduct, explicit and detailed verbal descriptions, or narrative accounts of sexual excitement or sexual conduct that are harmful to minors.
- Primarily appeals to an erotic or sexual interest
- Is patently offensive to current standards in the community with respect to what is suitable material
- Is without serious literary, political, artistic, or scientific value for minors
Selling or Buying MinorsDefendants who are accused of producing child pornography may also face charges of purchasing, offering to buy, or obtaining custody of a minor with the intent to produce a visual depiction of the child engaging in sexually explicit conduct. This offense is a first degree felony under Fl. Stat. 847.0145, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison for each count. This statute also covers offering to take custody of a minor if the person knew that he or she would be involved in the production of pornography, even if the defendant was not actually involved in production him or herself.
Sex Offender RegistrationThose who are convicted of producing child pornography are required to register with the state’s sex offender registry. This involves providing law enforcement with identifying information, such as addresses, phone numbers, emails, fingerprints, photographs, and vehicle information. This information must be updated immediately when it changes and offenders are required to re-register at least twice a year with law enforcement. These individuals also face restrictions in where they can live, work, and travel.
Federal LawThe production of child pornography is also unlawful under federal law, 18 U.S. Code § 2251, which specifically prohibits coercing, employing, or enticing a minor to engage in the production of a depiction of sexually explicit conduct. Unlike other federal laws, a person does not have to have crossed state or international boundaries in order to be charged in federal court. As long as there is evidence of the following, a defendant can be charged with federal production of child pornography, in addition to or in lieu of state charges:
- The defendant knew that the pornographic material would be transmitted via computer or the mail system
- The defendant knew or should have known that production of the pornographic material would require the use of materials or equipment that had been transported through the mail system or a computer
Anyone outside of the U.S. who employs, uses, or coerces a minor to engage in the production of child pornography and intends to import the material into the country can be charged under 18 U.S. Code § 2260. Those who are convicted also face up to 30 years in prison, unless they have a prior record of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, or pornography-related offenses, in which case, the sentence could be increased to a minimum of 30 years. Defendants who are accused of producing child pornography internationally with the intent to ship it into the U.S. may also be charged with attempting to distribute or sell child pornography, which could add a minimum of five years onto a their sentence.