Child Pornography Definition
Child pornography is an image, video, or visual representation that depicts someone under the age of eighteen engaged in sexual activity or where the main characteristic is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, the anal region or a sexual organ. There is some case law that indicates that the breasts of a teenage girl under the age of eighteen can be considered child pornography.
There is a difference between child pornography and child nudity. Nude pictures or artwork of children that are not for a sexual purpose and are not focused on the anal region or sexual organs are not considered child pornography.
Possession of Child Pornography
Possession of child pornography means that the accused is alleged to have both knowledge and control over the pornographic material. This is probably the most common allegation with respect to child pornography in Toronto and the surrounding areas.
Accessing Child Pornography
It is an offence to knowingly cause child pornography to be viewed or transmitted. Therefore, it is also an offence to access child pornography even where there is not actual possession. For example, viewing child pornography without actually downloading the illegal images is still illegal.
Minimum Punishments for Possession and Access
The minimum punishment of imprisonment for these offences is fourteen days if prosecuted summarily. If the matters are prosecuted by indictment, then the minimum punishment of imprisonment is forty-five days. In actuality, most offenders, if convicted, are sentenced to longer sentences than the minimum sentences under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Making Child Pornography
The making refers to a person that makes, prints, publishes, or possesses child pornography for the purpose of publication. This offence is more serious than the offences of accessing and possession of pornographic material involving a minor. These allegations are serious, and an experienced child pornography lawyer should be hired to defend against such charges.
Distributing Child Pornography
This offence covers people that are alleged to have transmitted, made available, distributed, sold, advertised, imported, exported or possessed pornographic material involving a minor for the purpose of transmission.
Minimum Punishments for Making and Distribution
If these charges are advanced by summary conviction, the minimum term of imprisonment is six months. Where the Crown prosecutor proceeds by indictment, the minimum term of imprisonment is one year. The sentences of imprisonment after conviction are usually longer than the minimum sentences under the Criminal Code.
There are many defences available to persons charged with allegations of child pornography in Toronto and the surrounding areas. If someone you know has been accused of possession, making, accessing, or distributing pornographic material involving a minor, contact an experienced criminal lawyer immediately to ensure that person’s rights are protected.