What is Child Exploitation in Arizona?
Arizona takes crimes against children very seriously. In fact, in a case of sexual exploitation of a minor, the state sentenced a defendant to 200 years in jail after finding him in possession of 20 images of child pornography.
Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
Per A.R.S. § 13-3553, a person is guilty of sexually exploiting a minor if they knowingly:
- Record, film, photograph, or develop/duplicate any visual depiction of a minor engaging or in exhibition of any type of sexual contact.
- Distributing, selling, transporting, receiving, exhibiting, purchasing, transmitting electronically, exchanging, or possessing any material of a minor exhibiting or engaging in any type of sexual contact.
- If any evidence of the depiction of the minor engaging is admitted as evidence in trial, it will be sealed at the end of the proceedings, hearings, or trials.
- This shall be considered at least a class 2 felony if the minor is 15 years of age or older.
- If the child is under 15 years of age the sentence is enhanced and considered under dangerous crimes against children.
Sentencing for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
Each and every count of sexual exploitation of a minor carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison if the child is under 15 years of age.
These types of sentences are often called “life-enders” because it is possible for someone convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor to end up with a prison sentence that is longer than someone who committed second-degree murder. All crimes that are considered dangerous crimes against children have to have their sentences served prior to being considered for release.
If the child is aged 15 to 17, the charges are no longer categorized as dangerous crimes against children and the sentencing changes too.
The first offense can carry a term of probation with up to a year in jail, or prison with a term of 3 to 12.5 years of being incarcerated.
The second offense only gives the prison only choice of 4 to 23.25 years incarcerated.
Third and subsequent convictions can range from 10.5 to 35 years incarcerated in prison.
The convicted must also be registered as a sex offender on the Sex Offender Registry for the rest of their lives. This would prevent you from interacting with any children under the age of 18 including your own. A probation officer would have to put the offender through numerous tests and other procedures to be able to change any of these rules.
Teenagers and the Law
Everywhere you look you see teenagers with a smartphone in their hands. Boys and girls alike are sharing selfies and numbers, but sometimes these teenagers like to share a little bit more than just a selfie.
While it is inappropriate to send nude photos to anyone over the phone or the internet, it is extremely more inappropriate for a minor to send them to another minor. Even if one is 18 and the other is 17, that could be a sticky situation.
Teenagers can be charged just like adults in these types of situations. That can be a scary situation for both parents and teenagers both.
Regardless of the situation, if you find yourself or someone you love facing a child exploitation charge, you need to hire a lawyer who can help with the case. Arizona criminal lawyers are well educated on the laws surrounding this and can help fight your case.
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