Hard to Hide Child Pornography Charges & Penalties

Child pornography charges and penalties

What is done in secret might not be as secret as previously thought. That is what happened to one Clinton Township, Michigan resident.

An investigation started in March when the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from the Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. They discovered that child pornography had been downloaded to a computer at a Clinton Township residence.

The detectives with the Macomb Area Computer Enforcement unit were able to track down the Internet service provider, and identify the recipient’s email address. Richard Sherman Johnson, a 43-year-old Clinton Township man was arraigned last week.

A search warrant was executed at Johnson’s Silver Spring’s Mobile Home Community where he lives with his wife and another couple. He was charged with one count of using a computer to commit a crime, one count of child sexually abusive activity – distributing or promoting, and three counts of child sexually abusive material-possession.

The Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

The Michigan ICAC is an online site that allows people to submit a cyber tip report. The information regarding child sexual exploitation entered into this form will be forwarded to law enforcement for investigation and review.

What is Child Pornography?

Federal law defines child pornography, “as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than 1 years old.” Another phrase used for images of child pornography is “sexual abuse image.” Child pornography is a form of sexual exploration.

Child Pornography Charges and Penalties

It is vital to realize that Congress are cracking down on child pornography crimes. One way they are doing this is by creating long sentences for those individuals convicted. When charged with possession of child pornography, it is a felony under the federal law in every state.

For those individuals who have been convicted of the following, the mandatory minimum sentence is 5 years:

  • Receipt
  • Distribution
  • Possession with intent to distribute or sell
  • Transport, or in production of child pornography

In addition, for those with previous sexual offenses the mandatory minimum can be 15 – 40 years.

While every case is different, it’s pretty easy for an investigation to find evidence of child pornography. In the case of Richard Sherman Johnson, investigators were able to get enough evidence to search his home computer. The charges were made possible by tracking him through his Internet Service Provider and a lead from Michigan Internet Child Task Force.

What might seem like something done in secret can actually be tracked by investigators. It is becoming harder to hide child pornography. Police are able to track an individual’s IP address to see what has been searched, and download. The individuals who have been convicted are those who had intent to view, receipt, distribute, and sell child pornography. Moreover, the evidence found will typically prove the intent of an individual.

Take Away

In closing, each case is different, and even if you are guilty, there are ways to help your case. There is hope. Contact an experienced defense attorney who specializes in child pornography cases right way.

If you are a person that is, or a loved one is addicted to child pornography, seek help. Please know there is help available for you. Child pornography addiction is like any other and can be treated. If you have received child pornography charges, contact me today.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000