This story comes courtesy of the Huffington Post, which describes the dire situation of a 43-year-old socialite from Texas who was recently sentenced by a judge to 14 years in prison for trading and shipping child pornography. Law enforcement discovered a "massive cache" of child porn, as HuffPo puts it - 4,000 images on the hard drive of her computer, collected over 13 years of daily downloading while the woman's husband was at work.
Yes, without a doubt, even one act of downloading a single piece of child pornography - whether that be a photo, video or other media - can mean criminal sex crimes charges. The possession of child pornography is against both North Carolina and federal laws; downloading one file and quickly deleting it can mean a knock on the door from the cops.
Accusations of sex offenses involving a minor were flying against former sports writer and small business owner Eric Lusk last summer after the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC) discovered child pornography on Lusk's computer. According to an Elkin detective involved in the case, the child pornography was downloaded.