Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Child Porn and the LAPD

Posted on: April 27, 2011 at 12:33 a.m.

Whenever you talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer about child pornography charges, you get the sense that even an accusation of child porn can ruin a person's life forever. If you hold a position of authority, a child porn accusation is even more severe. A Los Angeles Police Department officer whose son is serving time for possessing child pornography was sentenced to eight months behind bars recently for the same crime. In addition to the jail time, the officer must serve four months in home detention, pay thousands of dollars in fines and spend seven years in supervised release. One year ago, the officer's 29 year old son was standing in a Los Angeles federal court and was sentenced to eight years in prison. The father apparently had fewer images on his computer, but the judge in the case still wanted to send the man to prison because "the child is victimized again."

The officer was distinguished for a lifetime of exceptional service to the community in a very tough neighborhood, but the judge still sentenced the man to prison. The son was charged with receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography and the father was charged with receipt and possession of child pornography. The FBI executed the investigation, finding 600 images of child pornography on the son's computer after suspecting him of beign involved in criminal activity.

For people charged with any sort of child pornography crime, there are complex laws involved. At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, our lawyers possess experience in some of the most complex and lengthy criminal trials in the city. Our experience defending crimes includes successful defenses of child pornography charges.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

International Child Porn Ring Busted!

Posted on: December 15, 2010 at 8:08 p.m.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys who represent people charged with possession, distribution or creation of child pornography know that the law enforcement challenges are numerous. Police, Sheriff's deputies and even FBI agents are involved in trying to bring child pornographers to justice, meaning that any Attorney not only has to battle the best lawyers the government has, but the best law enforcement officers as well. A recent case demonstrates just how effective and efficient government child porn busts can be. An international child pornography ring that covered three different continents and required members to post explicit images on a secure Internet message board was dismantled and arrests of a dozen people or more has ensued. This international investigation led to the closure of what was known as the "Lost Boy" bulletin board and suspects from Germany to New Zealand were identified. Allegedly 35 men traded and posted pictures of young boys who were either naked or engaging in unlawful sex.

The people who are implicated in this criminal activity are from a broad array backgrounds. One was a pediatrician, one was a lawyer and several were already registered sex offenders. According to authorities, a man from Los Angeles had been talking to an Italian national about child pornography and how to engage in child sex tourism in Romania. This is what tipped off European authorities to contact authorities in the United States. International search warrants were served at home and abroad with 16 people being arrested and charged with child pornography. Five men have pleaded guilty so far and face between five and thirty years in a federal prison. Other suspects have been charged in Brazil, in France, in Norway and the United Kingdom. As you can see, these are highly sophisticated investigations that get results and battling these allegations in court is incredibly difficult without a skilled attorney working for you.

If you or someone you know has been charged with or arrested for child pornography, you need a skilled Defense Lawyer who understands federal courts and lawyers. At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, we can assist you with any sex offense defense. Our number is 877-781-1570. Contact our lawyers today for your initial consultation.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Santa Claus and Child Pornography

Posted on: December 14, 2010 at 9:49 p.m.

It might be a parent's worst nightmare, but a town in Nebraska recently had a Santa Claus who was caught allegedly possessing child pornography. Daniel Davis pleaded not guilty in North Platte, NE to eight counts of possession of child pornography. Investigators say they found a Santa suit in Davis' home of the 57 year old man, although it was not immediately known if he was working as a Santa around town. Police allege they found still photos and video images of children in pornographic situations on the man's computer. There is a trial set for March 15, and each of the child porn counts carries a maximum of five years in prison (that's 40 years total for those counting at home).

Any Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer will tell you that defending someone facing child pornography charges is incredibly difficult. Even the most skilled attorney has to combat the law, motivated district attorneys, biased juries and even the press if they get wind of the case. For a 57 year old man, a 40 years sentence is essentially a death sentence. While the general public may have already put this man in prison for crimes he is only accused of, a Attorney knows that his client deserves the same unbiased justice system as everyone else.

It is also important to remember that computer files are a tricky thing. If you were to buy a computer, it might already have illegal images or information on it. Or, if you were to download a file from the Internet, you could be downloading something that is not what you think it is. Only a skilled, experienced Defense Attorney can analyze your case and build the best defense possible to whatever allegations the prosecution are armed with.

Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP possess the knowledge, background and track record of success people look for. They are a top rated law firm according to the top attorney ranking system Martindale Hubbell. If you or someone you know has been arrested for possession of child pornography, contact our attorneys now and get the legal representation you need. Call us today at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

California Child Pornography Charges

Posted on: August 14, 2009 at 7:55 a.m.

When a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney represents someone charged with child pornography crimes, he must devise a unique, sophisticated defense. Any child pornography charge in Los Angeles, or any other part of California, carries serious penalties and requires the skill of a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with a unique background, successful track record and unmatched knowledge of the law.

One individual who could have used a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is Keith Griffin of Marin County. he claimed that the child pornography police found on his computer was indeed downloaded...by his cat. He claims that he would step away from his computer for long periods of time and return to find his cat had downloaded the child pornography without his being present. Unfortunately, the man had over 1,000 images of child pornography on his computer and is being charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography He is also being held on $250,000 bail.

If you are charged with such a sexual offense, you need could be facing some of the stiffest penalties California has to offer. For example, possessing, distributing or manufacturing child pornography is punishable by serious jail time, long periods of probation, community service, limited access to public parks and even inclusion on the California Sex Offender Registry. Any of these penalties could cause permanent damage to your future, your relationships, your current employment and more. Los Angeles child pornography laws offer severe penalties, and both juries and judges can be prejudiced against anyone charged with such a crime.

The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin have years of experience with child pornography laws, including Section 311.11 of the penal code. Our criminal defense team has years of experience with Los Angeles courts, Los Angeles laws, sex offenses and more. In fact, our attorneys have over fifty years of experience, and many of those years were spent working in Los Angeles District Attorneys' Offices.

If you are facing child pornography charges, contact our law offices today at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Sexual Predators & Child Pornography in Los Angeles

Posted on: March 27, 2009 at 6:35 a.m.

The city of Los Angeles is sometimes known as "porn valley" because the adult industry is primarily based in the San Fernando Valley. While pornography for those 18-years-old and over is perfectly legal, it is illegal to to create or own any images or video for those under the age of 18. Los Angeles child pornography charges are serious, and only qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys should be trusted to defend anyone facing such charges.

The invention of the Internet has changed the way people live their lives. From online stores like Amazon.com to being able to catch up on your favorite television shows to online banking and bill pay, we all spend significant amounts of time on the Internet every day. Children are no exception. Neither are sexual predators. The Internet has arguably made it even easier for the exchange of child pornography and for sexual predators to find potential victims.

All forms of child pornography are illegal not only in Los Angeles, but the rest of the nation as well. For legal purposes, child pornography is usually defined as any depiction of a minor committing a sexually explicit act. While child pornography is generally either a photo or video in format, in some jurisdictions even a drawing of a child in a sexual situation would be illegal. Digital cameras and the Internet have made the spread of child pornography a multi-billion dollar business all over the world.

While other nations may or may not have laws preventing child pornography, the United States does. Anyone found in possession of such imagery or video can be charged with a criminal offense, even if they purchased it online from another country.

Soliciting sex from minors through the Internet has also been on the rise over the last decade. The abundance of online chat rooms and social networking websites make anonymity easy. Many adults can and do pose as minors on these websites before suggesting a face to face meeting with a minor they meet online. Countless cases of abduction, molestation, rape and even murder begin this way.

In some cases, adults may not even need to pose as minors, but will still solicit sex from minors they meet in online chat rooms. Even with the consent of the minor, this would still constitute statutory rape or enticement, both of which are criminal offenses. Criminal offenses that are sexual in nature have a strong stigma attached to them that lingers even after court-given punishments are completed. Many states require sex offenders to register with local law enforcement after they finish their prison terms.

In places like Los Angeles, this registry is put online and open for the public to access. Even sensitive information such as a home address is put on the registry for anyone to see. A conviction for a sexual offense may also severely limit where a person can live or work. Being charged with a criminal offense such as the possession of child pornography or soliciting sex from a minor is a potentially life-altering event that requires the skilled guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. With your freedom and reputation on the line, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP right away to begin preparing your defense.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Surprising Culprits of Child Pornography

Posted on: March 10, 2009 at 12:50 p.m.

Los Angeles is home to the San Fernando Valley, also known as Porn Valley to some. Along with the adult industry comes a highly illegal crime known as child pornography. Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers regularly defend those accused of and charged with child pornography charges. Child pornography (sometimes abbreviated CP) refers to images or films depicting sexually explicit activities involving a child; as such, child pornography is a visual record of child sexual abuse. In the United States, child pornography is illegal under federal law and in all cities and states, including Los Angeles, CA.

Many people have an image of a dirty old man in an overcoat kidnapping little children to make child pornography, but in reality the situation is often much different and much harder to interpret. For example, a former New Jersey lawmaker who once championed bills aimed at fighting child pornography pleaded not guilty Tuesday to child porn and official misconduct charges in his first public appearance since the state began investigating him in July.

A judge determined Neil Cohen is not a flight risk, so he can remain free without bail with restrictions. He's not allowed to "loiter or linger" around playgrounds or schools, have unsupervised contact with children under 16 or use the Internet for purposes other than business.

In Los Angeles, child pornography charges can lead to serious jail time, heavy fines and a permanent place on the sex offense registry for California.

Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers aggressively defend charges of Child Pornography, and have utilized the latest court ruling in California interpreting Penal Code Section 311.11. The ruling states that an individual who possesses multiple images of child pornography on a computer can only be convicted of one count of possessing such images. In other words, if the police recover a computer with multiple images from suspects home, the defendant can only be charged with one criminal violation.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Child Pornography Charges Penal Code Section 311.11 - New Case Ruling

Posted on: November 17, 2008 at 2:12 a.m.

As child pornography prosecutions have become more visible in Southern California courts, Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers should be aware of a recent decision in this area.

The Ninth Circuit concluded that the seizure of child pornography and other evidence of an elderly man

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Child Pornography In Iraq War

Posted on: October 15, 2008 at 9:34 a.m.

One of the worst crimes against children is a child pornography crime. Child pornography refers to material depicting children being in a state of undress, engaged in erotic poses or sexual activity. Child sexual abuse occurs in the production of child pornography when sexual acts are photographed, and the effects of the abuse on the child (and continuing into maturity) are compounded by the wide distribution and lasting availability of the photographs of the abuse.

For practical reasons, legal definitions of child pornography generally refer to a wider age range, including any pornography involving a minor, according to jurisdiction. Most possessors of child pornography who are arrested are found to possess images of prepubescent children; possessors of pornographic images of post-puberty minors might be less likely to be prosecuted, even though those images also fall within the statutes.

In regard to the Iraq case, a federal judge rejected arguments Friday from a former civilian contractor in Iraq who said his sentence for possessing child pornography should be lighter to more closely align with what military personnel would face. The prosecutor in the case said the defendant's case is "a run-of-the-mill child pornography possession case that happened to take place in Baghdad." The defendant had a history of viewing child pornography, and is being tried in federal court.

Law enforcement authorities at the local, state, and federal levels have been investing more and more resources in the investigation of Internet crimes. California Penal Code Section 311.11 specifically makes illegal the possession of child pornography. Charges of child pornography may be prosecuted by the government in either state or federal court. While pornography depicting adults is typically protected speech under the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, child pornography is considered to be illegal speech, and is not subject to constitutional protections.

The attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP are experienced in defending the accused in Child Pornography matters. Our criminal lawyers aggressively defend individuals on child pornography charges. With more than 50 years experience, our former senior Los Angeles prosecutors are well-aware of how the government builds its case. The government must prove the client was in actual possession of the images, and that the images were unlawful. To be unlawful, the images must not be digitally-created. Further, the government must prove the client was aware of what was on his or her computer.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

The Complexity of Child Pornography Cases

Posted on: August 12, 2008 at 9:17 a.m.

Lindsay, CA, a town roughly 200 miles north of Los Angeles, has an increasingly complex case involving a man accused of viewing child pornography at a public library.

The basic details are that, allegedly, then-assistant librarian Brenda Biesterfeld of the Lindsay Library found Donny Crisler viewing images of child pornography on one of the library's computers. Biesterfeld reported it to her superior who allegedly did nothing about it, which led her to report it to the police. After Crisler, who was caught allegedly viewing child pornography, was arrested, it was discovered that he was deaf and dumb. Biesterfeld was fired after the event, which she alleges was because of her actions in reporting the infraction to the police. However, the library alleges the event had nothing to do with her firing.

In July, the court ruled that Donny Crisler had to take a psychological evaluation, for which a sign language interpreter is needed. This puts the criminal case against Crisler at a stand still until his ability to competantly participate in his own defense is evaluated.

Recently, a member of the California Assembly recently passed a bill through the Assembly Public Safety Committee regarding child pornography which requires offenders convicted of possession of child pornography to register as sex offenders and which expands the list of qualifying offenses permitting offenders convicted of possession of child pornography with prior sex offense convictions to receive enhanced penalties to include all offenses that require registration as a sex offender. Under current law, such offenders DO NOT have to register as sex offenders.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Child Pornography Defense: Criminal Laws Upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court

Posted on: July 22, 2008 at 7:43 a.m.

Internet downloading of child pornography has been a hot-button law enforcement issue in the past year. Los Angeles criminal lawyers are seeing more and more arrests, through the cooperation of local L.A. police department and federal agents.

Criminal defense attorneys should be aware that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently upheld a strict new federal laws that makes it a crime to send messages over the computer that offer or seek child pornography, even when no such pornography exists.

The 7-2 ruling gives prosecutors a powerful weapon to go after those who talk about child pornography online. It also appears to take away a defense for those who say the material they were discussing involves computer images, not depictions of real children engaged in sex.

These type of charges are very serious, carrying substantial prison time. Typical defense inquiries in these cases include 1)who actually downloaded the pornography and 2)who possessed the photos or video at the time of the police arrest.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

The Dangerous World of Child Pornography

Posted on: June 12, 2008 at 11 a.m.

Child pornography is illegal, and there is very little leniency in the law. With the ease with which individuals are able to obtain child pornography via the Internet, state, local and federal law enforcement officials have increasingly been looking to crack down on potential violators. The Supreme Court of the United States has again and again reaffirmed laws prohibiting creating and disseminating child pornography.

However, there are various sides to this issue and the prosecution of these laws can often net unintended victims. For example, those in the many artistic communities across the nation see what they are creating as quite different from child pornography. However, these individuals have often been arrested, charged and convicted under laws prohibiting child pornography. Also, people often considered religious zealots have attempted to use child pornography laws to interfere with the adult film business, which has time and again been considered legal.

The laws governing child pornography often change though; in 2002 the Supreme Court struck down a 1996 law because it interfered with legitimate educational and scientific studies. However, the most recent developments have led to tougher laws and stiffer penalties for child pornography. This has also led to sex offense databases across the nation containing the information of anyone who has violated child pornography laws. Being put on this list is a permanent punishment.

One of the ways the law enforcement or government agency prosecuting child pornography laws can error is in how they collect information. For example, while Internet providers have agreed to block child pornography, and they often give their information to the agencies investigating child pornography crimes, there are still constitutional guidelines the agencies must follow in collecting evidence.

For more information on the defense of child pornography charges, please contact the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP.

Tagged as: california criminal laws, child pornography pc 311_11, internet crimes defense, sex crime accusations

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