An Elk Grove man who had nearly completed his training as a sheriff’s deputy has now been sentenced for having received, and traded, child pornography over the Internet. Although his supporters claim that he only downloaded the sexual images of children over a short period of time, a U.S. District Judge saw things differently. He has been sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 5 years in state prison and will remain on probation for 10 years after his incarceration. The man may also have to pay restitution to the victims involved in the case, which included one girl from the Netherlands who was rescued from her abuser and another girl for whom there is already a precedent for restitution as it is already an oft-shared image among those receiving child pornography.
CA Penal Code 311.1, 311.2, and 311.11 are the portions of the California Penal Code that address the possession, distribution, transportation, and control of sexual images of children. As is clear, there are various different ways in which an individual could be accused of, and then convicted of, a violation of the law as it pertains to child pornography. Specifically, this crime is a ‘wobbler’ in California, meaning that prosecutors determine, depending on the specific facts of the case at hand, whether to treat the offense as a misdemeanor or as a felony. If an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor child pornography offense, they are likely to be subject to a $2,500 fine and may spend up to 1 year in county jail. However, a felony child pornography conviction could lead to a hefty prison sentence, anywhere from 16 months to 8 years in state prison.