Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

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


Diane Srsen (Comm 174) on October 23, 2008 at 8:13 p.m. wrote:

I completely agree with the previous statements made. I think that someone that views child pornography is very sick in the head, and that it is very disgusting! There should be no exceptions when he it comes to breaking the law no mater what occupation one holds. Everyone has respect for military personnel and we all appreciate their line of work, but when that line is crossed it should be punished. And the penalties that he receives should be the same that any average Joe would receive. I disagree with the fact that the military should receive a lighter sentence. They are normal people just like the rest of us, and even though they decided to go and defend our country doesn't make them any better than the rest of us when it comes to civil duties. If anything, they are seen as role models, and therefore should fulfill that. It is one thing if he had a stronger argument for receiving a lighter sentence, but I will not buy his excuse.

Ericka Carlos on October 21, 2008 at 11:15 p.m. wrote:

(Comm 174) I am also curious as to what penalties military personnel would face in a case like this, and why. It is not surprising that the defendant is requesting the same treatment as military personnel, being that he is not a Baghdad local and was there to perform a specific job. However, making the request for lighter punishment, based on this argument is a mere loophole in the system. Regardless, his offense remains the same, as should the penalties for anyone who is guilty of commiting this crime against children.

Ashley Stein on October 19, 2008 at 3:37 p.m. wrote:

(Comm 174) I find it interesting that the accused thinks that because he was in Iraq at the time the crime was supposedly committed he is entitled to military priviledges. Granted, it is unclear whether he was actually doing work that would be considered a part of the military field, but it is stated that he was clearly a civilian. Also, it seems odd to me that military personnel receive a lighter sentence for possesing child pornography than civilians. Why is it more acceptable for people in a certain line of work to possess something as illegal and inappropriate as child pornography? I realize that military personnel are under a significant amount of stress, but there are plenty of other occupations that are stressful as well, and no one seems to think this entitles them to special priviledges with regards to illegal activities.

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