Child Pornography charges in Rhode Island are becoming more prevalent. The Rhode Island State Police make numerous arrests each month for possession of child pornography, transfer of child pornography, and manufacture of child pornography. Facing child pornography charges in Rhode Island is a very scary and dangerous proposition. You are facing immediate consequences including likely media coverage of your case and immediate restrictions including the possibilty that you will be held without bail in prison. You are also facing longer term consequences if convicted including possible incarceration and lifetime sex offender registration. Contact the Rhode Island Child Pornography Lawyers at the Law Offices of Matthew T. Marin, Esquire, Inc. today for a confidential, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We will be upfront with you and give you straight answers to all of your questions.
Bail Issues for Rhode Island Child Pornography Charges
When you are charged with possession of child pornography in Rhode Island, you will be brought to the Rhode Island District Court for an initial appearance before a Judge of the District Court. This initial appearance in serious felony cases such as possession of child pornography is for the purpose of determining your bail status prior to your case being brought forward to the Superior Court. In certain instances, the Police can ask the Judge to hold you without bail at the prison (ACI) until a bail or violation hearing can be held. In the event that the Judge agrees to your release upon bail pending an appearance before the Superior Court, there are a number of different restrictions that the Court can and often does order in Rhode Island child pornography cases. The Court can set "surety" bail in which money would need to be posted to secure your release. The Court can also dictate terms of your release including (1) no contact with minors, (2) no internet use, and/or (3) mental health screening and couseling. It is vital that you have a skilled Rhode Island Child Pornography Attorney at your side during your initial appearance before the District Court so that your rights are protected and your release is secured.
Developments in Rhode Island Child Pornography Investigations
On July 5th, 2014, the Providence Journal ran an article discussing new methods utilized by the Rhode Island State Police to locate and investigate Rhode Island Child Pornography charges. A number of new methods of investigation and detection are being employed including the use of police dogs trained to sniff out hard drives, thumb drives and other technological gadgets. This focused effort on the part of local and federal law enforcement has led to a steep increase in the number of cases and arrests for child pornography in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Child Pornography Law
§ 11-9-1.3 Child pornography prohibited. – (a) Violations. It is a violation of this section for any person to:
(1) Knowingly produce any child pornography;
(2) Knowingly mail, transport, deliver or transfer by any means, including by computer, any child pornography;
(3) Knowingly reproduce any child pornography by any means, including the computer; or
(4) Knowingly possess any book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, computer disk, computer file or any other material that contains an image of child pornography.
Rhode Island Child Pornography Penalties
(1) Whoever violates or attempts or conspires to violate subdivisions (a)(1), (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisoned for not more than fifteen (15) years, or both.
(2) Whoever violates or attempts or conspires to violate subdivision (a)(4) of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisoned not more than five (5) years, or both.
Definitions in Rhode Island Child Pornography Cases
(c) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) "Child pornography" means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct where:
(i) The production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(ii) Such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
(iii) Such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to display an identifiable minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
(2) "Computer" has the meaning given to that term in section 11-52-1;
(3) "Minor" means any person not having reached eighteen (18) years of age;
(4) "Identifiable minor."
(i) Means a person:
(A)(I) Who was a minor at the time the visual depiction was created, adapted, or modified; or
(II) Whose image as a minor was used in creating, adapting, or modifying the visual depiction; and
(ii) Who is recognizable as an actual person by the person's face, likeness, or other distinguishing characteristic, such as a unique birthmark or other recognizable feature; and
(B) Shall not be construed to require proof of the actual identity of the identifiable minor.
(5) "Producing" means producing, directing, manufacturing, issuing, publishing or advertising;
(6) "Sexually explicit conduct" means actual:
(i) Graphic sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, or lascivious sexual intercourse where the genitals, or pubic area of any person is exhibited;
(iv) Sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
(v) Graphic or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;
(7) "Visual depiction" includes undeveloped film and videotape and data stored on a computer disk or by electronic means, which is capable of conversion into a visual image;
(8) "Graphic," when used with respect to a depiction of sexually explicit conduct, means that a viewer can observe any part of the genitals or pubic area of any depicted person or animal during any part of the time that the sexually explicit conduct is being depicted.
Affirmative Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
(d) Affirmative defenses.
(1) It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violating subdivision (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of this section that:
(i) The alleged child pornography was produced using an actual person or persons engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and
(ii) Each such person was an adult at the time the material was produced; and
(iii) The defendant did not advertise, promote, present, describe or distribute the material in such a manner as to convey the impression that it is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
(2) It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violating subdivision (a)(4) of this section that the defendant:
(i) Possessed less than three (3) images of child pornography; and
(ii) Promptly and in good faith and without retaining or allowing any person, other than a law enforcement agency, to access any image or copy of it:
(A) Took reasonable steps to destroy each such image; or
(B) Reported the matter to a law enforcement agency and afforded that agency access to each such image.