Federal and state laws make it a crime to produce, possess, distribute, or sell pornographic materials that exploit or portray a minor (under the age of 18). Increasingly, child pornography laws are being utilized to punish use of computer technology and the Internet to obtain, share, and distribute pornographic material involving children, including images and films.
Federal laws addressing child pornography are:
18 U.S.C. § 2251- Sexual Exploitation of Children
(Production of child pornography)
18 U.S.C. § 2251A- Selling and Buying of Children
18 U.S.C. § 2252- Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors (Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography)
18 U.S.C. § 2252A- Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography
18 U.S.C. § 2260- Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United States
First-time offenders found guilty of producing child pornography may be sentenced to fines and between 15 and 20 years in prison. Offenders may be prosecuted under federal, state, or both jurisdictions for any child pornography offense.