In a strange local case, a man from Rancho Cordova (56) who works in the U.S. Department of Transportation currently stands accused of having taken nude films of the young foster children he was charged with the care of. He self-identified himself to local law enforcement officials as a ‘pedophile,’ but insists that, though he used the videos and other pornographic images of children in order to sexually gratify himself, that he “would not harm my kids.” He faces charges of possession of child pornography and the attempted sexual exploitation of children.
California law is strict when it comes to the exploitation of children for sexual purposes (CA Penal Code 311.1-311.11). In the case above, CA PC 311.11 (the possession of pornographic images that were produced using a child under the age of 18) applies, as does CA Penal Code 311.3 (the sexual exploitation of a child). Possession of child pornography charges were easily identified, a search of the man’s home and office yielded, not only a hidden camera in the bathroom, but a flash drive that contained approximately 552 sexual images of children. More images were found on his laptop.
It is usual for many child pornography cases in California to be considered ‘wobblers,’ meaning that they may be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the decision of prosecutors. However, felony charges could also apply. If convicted on felony child pornography charges, this man could face up to 8 years in county jail and a possible whopping $100,000 in fines. More than this, for the exploitation charges (which can always be levied at the federal level), mean that he could be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15-30 years in federal prison.