Another man was arrested over the weekend for possession of child pornography here in Sarasota.
More and more men are being arrested as a result of a new “spider” crawling the Internet looking for known images of child pornography being transmitted. When Google or some other provider identifies an IP address as having received or sent an illegal kiddie porn image, the police now have a program that will come into your computer without your knowledge and download items in your computer. This is true if you use certain file sharing programs. What people do not know is that even if you have the “sharing” disabled, every time you turn your computer on, it defaults to “file sharing”. The police have an application that is basically constantly “knocking” at your computers door.
The second you turn your computer on, the program defaults to “sharing” and the police begin downloading items from your computer.
The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime.
Do not download or view child pornography, even out of curiosity.
It is difficult to profile a person who gets involved with child pornography.
Viewers of child pornography come from all walks of life. Many of those involved tend to be white males between the ages of 26 and 40. Those involved include judges, doctors, professors, business leaders, academics, rock stars, soldiers and police officers. Most are heavy Internet users. There is a misconception that people who view child pornography go on to sexually abuse children. The statistics simply do not support this belief and in fact contradict it. People who view child pornography are not necessarily pedophiles. Less than ten percent, and according to some studies, as little as three percent are involved in abusing children. There are three basic categories of users.
Some people are simply browsers who out of curiosity view occasionally kiddie porn images, not saving the images or networking with others. Browsers often do not employ security strategies to avoid detection.In my experience as a child pornography lawyer, these are the ones that get caught the most often. As is often said, curiosity killed the cat.
Some people are what I call private fantasizers who view child porn to satisfy private fantasies. They generally do not network nor employ security to prevent detection. A person more deeply involved is the non-secure collector. They get the child porn in non secure chat rooms and are involved in networking. These offenders often get arrested because of interaction with other offenders and lack of security precautions. Further up the ladder is the “secure collector” that is heavily involved in collecting and gathering huge numbers of images categorized by types. The collection for them becomes an obsession.
Some people actually become “groomers”, physical abusers and producers of child pornography.
Unfortunately, in Florida, particularly here in Sarasota, law enforcement makes no distinction between the levels of offenders and treats all of them the same seeking long prison sentences. People are different and that is where the Florida Sentencing Guidelines fail to take into account the differences. As a sex crime defense lawyer, my job is to help the Court and the State attorney recognize the difference between those that deserve harsh punishment and others far down the ladder in terms of seriousness who need psychological treatment and counseling.
Viewing, downloading or sexually explicit images or kiddie porn can get you arrested and put you in State Prison or Federal Prison for many years. Many people do not understand how computers store information, particularly when it comes to sexually explicit images of minors.
If you accidentally download child pornography, what do you do? Hitting the delete button will not remove it from your computer. It simply removes the history or directory to the image. The highly illegal image is moved to the “unallocated space” section of your hard drive where it can later be recovered by law enforcement forensic experts. There are a few golden rules. First, never take your computer to law enforcement. They will probably arrest you for possession of child pornography. Never attempt to send the image somewhere else. It does not get it off your computer and you may get charged with transmission of child pornography. Never take it to a computer shop like Bests or some local computer expert. They will report you to the FBI or the police.
One possibility is to re-format your hard drive or re-write over all the unallocated space. There are commercial software programs that can accomplish this.
The FBI and the sheriffs department regularly monitor activity in P2P file sharing services. If you visit sites like Limewire or Frostwire and accidentally download kiddie porn you for sure don’t want to get charged with possession or transmission of child pornography.
Not all criminal defense attorneys understand computers and the internet. As a sex crime defense lawyer I have questioned and cross-examined law enforcement forensics experts. You may be able to show that it was an accident or unintentional act. Do not become a registered sex offender for life.
If you have questions, call my criminal defense firm for a free consultation or you can visit my sex crime website at the www.childpornographystinglawyer.com. I do sex crime defense throughout Southwest Florida in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Manatee counties 941-366-3506