Why are Child Pornography Arrests on the Rise in Florida?

Just this week, there were arrests in Polk County, Lee County and several other counties in Florida where men were charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.  These types of cases are on the rise because of new technology in the hands of law enforcement.  People continue to use peer to peer software to view kiddie porn and in doing so, unwittingly allow police to come into their computer without a search warrant.

When a child porn image is transmitted over the Internet, it is identified and reported to law enforcement by NCMEC.  All child porn video or still images have an identifiable “hash value”.  That is the same as a fingerprint.  In Sarasota County, and elsewhere, detectives are assigned to identify the location where images are sent.  They get a report from NCMEC showing the date and time of the transmission.  They then identify the IP address and proceed to get a search warrant.  It is like shooting fish in a barrel for the police.  Sarasota County leads the state in these types of cases.  In Sarasota County, the State Attorney has chosen to take an incredibly hard-line approach and in almost every instance charges 40-second degree felonies, running the guidelines to the point that most defendants face twenty years to life in prison.

In Sarasota County, most child pornography defendants face more time for looking at a video than committing a homicide.  Viewing child pornography is a treatable illness and sending someone to State prison for life is inhumane and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.  In Sarasota, the prosecutors simply do not care. 

The best way to not get arrested is to not commit the crime.  If somehow, you find yourself looking at this stuff, seek professional psychotherapy as soon as possible.  Viewing pornography and particularly child pornography can be addictive.  If you look at this material, you need professional mental health treatment before it is too late and you find yourself arrested and facing life in prison.  As a sex crime lawyer, over and over I see men getting arrested for child pornography as a result of what appears to be an Internet addiction.  Yes, you can get addicted to the Internet.  Yes, you can get addicted to viewing child pornography.  Get help immediately.

Most lawyers do not charge for an initial confidential consultation.  I can give you the names of several good psychologists and doctors that specialize in treating this addiction.

It is only a matter of time until you are caught.  Deleting it from your computer does not delete the fact that as you are looking at it, the police are secretly extracting it from your computer.  As you are receiving it, the police are downloading it from your computer and getting a warrant.  They have a law enforcement version of BitTorrent and Emule that hacks your computer and downloads images whether you are sitting at your computer or not.  The simple answer is, stop looking at this stuff.  If you have a child pornography addiction, get help before it is too late.

Child Pornography….Prosecution or Persecution?


Everyone agrees that children should not be subjected to sexual abuse. It does irreparable damage to them for life. Everyone agrees that filming sexual acts with children should be punished. Almost everyone agrees that distributing kiddie porn should be punished.

How about the guy who simply out of curiosity simply views it?

Should he go to jail for 20 years for simply watching a video?

As a sex crime lawyer, I have been handling child pornography cases now for over thirty years. Every client and every situation is different. Every single case involves a man who has a different background, a different history and an underlying reason he may have viewed the prohibited material. Viewing child pornography is hard for the average citizen to understand.

Why did my husband do that?

How could my son have gone so wrong?

What is wrong with him?

I hear that all the time.

Most of the people who view child pornography in my opinion have a treatable illness. Jailing them for twenty years solves nothing. The problem is that most prosecutors and most of the public are unsympathetic.

Here in Sarasota County and in Bradenton there is a zero tolerance for child porn. There is a policy now in effect in an attempt to manipulate the sentencing guidelines and get sentences imposing prison for decades. In almost every child pornography case I have handled, the State files dozens of charges to run up the sentencing guidelines. They do this in an attempt to compel the judges to impose the sentence the prosecutor wants and to limit the discretion of the judge.

The prosecutors here in Sarasota want to control sentencing, a function normally that of the Court.

I strongly believe that each individual person should be judged and sentenced on the merits of their case, not just a blind policy of persecution. It is an election year for both the prosecutor and judges. Being tough on crime gets votes. Having a heart, having compassion and being fair is viewed by some as weakness. There is a reason people look at this stuff. It is hard to understand.  There is a misconception that people who look at pictures go on to become pedophiles. That simply is not born out by the statistics. Only a tiny fraction of child pornography offenders act out. I strongly believe that these people need counseling and help, not state prison. Destroying a life for simply looking at a video or picture makes no sense.

If you have a relative under investigation or charged with child pornography and want to talk Call 941 366 3506 for a free and confidential consultation

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