Internet Sex Crimes and Child Pornography: Charges, Penalties & Defense

Gavel and computer depicting internet sex crimes

Have you or has anyone you love been charged with internet sex crimes involving child pornography?

Did you know you can be charged with multiple sentences and end up with many years in prison just for having any child pornography – child sexually abusive material – on your computer?

Moreover, did you know that investigators are increasingly working online, trying to catch men in the act of receiving or sending child sexually abusive material?

Child Sexually Abusive Material Charges

According to MLive, twenty-six-year-old Andrew Bedell of Bay City, Michigan has discovered this the hard way. He had told detectives, accidentally downloading the images and then deciding to “see what it was all about.”

Bendell has received the maximum allowable time under his sentencing guidelines for his two counts of possessing child sexually abusive material – which is a four-year felony.

Under his sentence, Bedell will also be on probation for an additional five years. In addition, he will have to:

  • Attend sex-offender counseling
  • Register as a sex offender
  • Have no contact with minors
  • Not possess pornography
  • Not be within 500 feet of a park or 1,000 feet of a school
  • Must submit to polygraph tests at random.

All of these penalties are for possession of child pornography.

Both Michigan laws and federal laws allow judges a great deal of discretion in sentencing for child pornography possession cases. This allowance can mean that some judges will sentence convicts more leniently and some will sentence more severely.

In all cases, possession of child pornography is difficult to defend. In addition, if you are convicted of having even one image, you will most likely face all of the hardships of being a registered sex offender.

Internet Sex Crimes

Investigators found out Bedell had child sexually abusive material when they began to use the BitTorrent network to investigate possible child pornography possessors.

BitTorrent is a network developed to be used to share files peer to peer. Unfortunately, it has been used to transmit copyrighted work illegally and to transmit other illegal material like child sexually abusive material.

Investigators were able to use BitTorrent to receive child pornography to identify Bendell’s computer. They were able to trace the IP address associated with his computer and from there to obtain his exact location. When police got to his house, they seized multiple electronic devices and found many child sexually abusive images.

Internet Crimes in Michigan

Using a computer to commit a crime is a charge in the state of Michigan with the protection of minor children in mind. The conditions of this charge depend on the underlying offense.

In this case, the underlying offense is possession of child pornography. Additionally, if you are convicted, it can add up to 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines to your charges.

In Bedell’s case, it’s likely that this was his first offense. Therefore, the prosecution offered him this deal. He may have been facing up to 10 years in prison and another $5,000 in fines.


In conclusion, possession of child pornography and the associated computer crimes are treated seriously in our criminal justice system. These have the potential to alter the course of your life severely.

Internet Sex Crimes Attorney in Michigan

If you are facing charges of this nature, enlist the services of an experienced internet sex crimes attorney. I will work diligently on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.

Let’s start fighting for your freedom.

Call today