People accused of crimes related to child pornography may face New York state charges as well as federal charges. Under the New York Penal Code, Article 263 defines offenses involving the sexual performance of a child. These crimes include production, distribution, promotion and knowing possession of child pornography. Child pornography does not involve any form of nudity of a child; the material prohibited by this law involves actual or simulated sexual conduct by a child younger than 16. The law applies to children under 17 if the person is accused of authorizing or inducing the child to create the pornographic material. It also applies to children under 17 if the person is accused of producing, directing or promoting the pornography.
One of the more common charges related to child pornography is possession of the material. For a person to be convicted of possession of child pornography, prosecutors must show that he or she knew the content of the material. Therefore, the simple presence of material on a computer may not be sufficient to convict a person of these charges. Illegal materials covered under the law may include films, photos or other visual representations.
Another common charge in New York relating to child porn is facilitation of a sexual performance by a child with a controlled substance or alcohol. This charge involves providing alcohol or drugs to a minor under 17 with the intent of filming or otherwise producing pornographic material.
People accused of child pornography offenses in New York may also be charged with federal crimes, depending on the specifics of the case. In some cases, people may face these charges even though they had no knowledge a child was involved; they may not even be aware that they inadvertently downloaded illegal files. A criminal defense attorney might be able to help people challenge police and prosecution assertions.