One year ago, Homeland Security traced the transmission of child pornography across state lines to a home in Harris County, Texas. Last month, the home was active again in sending illegal child pornography via the internet and Homeland Security was still watching.
Along with local law enforcement, federal agents searched the home and discovered more than 4,000 pornographic images and videos of minors on a computer and cell phone at the house. One arrest was made in relation to the federal sex crimes, a sixteen-year-old male is now in juvenile detention for the crimes.
According to investigators, the Texas teen had taken explicit video and photos of his six-year-old cousin which he then posted online. He has been charged with:
- Aggravated sexual assault of a minor
- Indecency with a minor
- Exploitation of a minor
- Sexual performance by a minor
- Possession of child pornography
- Promotion of child pornography
- Human trafficking
- Unlawful restraint
Possessing and distributing child pornography are very serious charges. Once these illegal images cross state lines - as is pretty much typical of anything that comes via the internet, the related sex crime is a federal offense rather than a state issue. Federal punishment for sex crime is often much harsher than state punishment because of harsh sentencing guidelines.
In some federal sex offense cases, every illegal image is considered a separate sex crime. In this case, that would mean that the teen committed more than 4,000 violations of internet sex crimes laws, and if convicted, could be punished for multiple offenses rather than one large act. If you have been caught possessing, downloading or distributing child pornography, you need an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer to help you understand the criminal process and to fight for the best possible outcome.
Source: WCNC, "Texas teen accused of sexually assaulting 6-year-old cousin; posting videos on internet," May 16, 2013