After an investigation headed up by Homeland Security and U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a Fair Oaks man (39 – name withheld to protect anonymity) has recently received a prison sentence of over 8 years for his part in receiving both still images and live video of pornographic material involving children. Law enforcement officials associated with the above groups executed a search warrant and the material was discovered on the man’s home computer. Later, officials say, the individual admitted to having used a file sharing network to download images several times a week between 2008 and 2012. All in all, agents claim that they found approximately 1,276 live videos of children in sexually explicit situations and about 3,690 still images of the same.
California law involves harsh penalties for anyone who purposefully possesses or receives images of child pornography. Here, ‘child’ pornography means any image (still or live) that involves a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct of any kind. California Penal Code 311.11 (possession or control of produced child pornography) is a ‘wobbler.’ Usually, this means that it is up to prosecutors to determine whether they will treat this violation of the law as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. However, in California, only a first offense violation of PC 311.11 may be considered a misdemeanor and a conviction under this law often means up to 1 year in county jail and a $2,500 fine. After that, if you have any prior convictions for child pornography under the same section of the law, your case will likely be treated as a felony. A first offense felony child pornography possession conviction will likely lead to up to 3 years in state prison, while subsequent offenses could lead to up to 5 years in state prison (if you possess more than 600 images and some of them are of children under the age of 12 or are sadomasochistic in nature) and a $10,000 fine.