Recently, a 29-year-old New Jersey Army recruiter was arrested by law enforcement for possession and distribution child pornography. After an investigation, law enforcement officials allegedly found a personal laptop computer in his apartment that contained images and videos of underage girls.
If found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child, The Star-Ledger reports that the man could face up to 10 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
Endangering Welfare of Children
New Jersey’s endangering the welfare of a child law makes it a crime to produce, sell, or knowingly possess or view pornography that involves or depicts a child – defined as a person under the age of 16 – engaging in a prohibited sex act. Under the language of the law, prohibited sex acts includes not just actual sexual acts, but also images of nude children for the purposes of sexually gratifying or stimulating the viewer of the material.
Endangering welfare of children is a sex crime that falls under the purview of Megan’s Law, which means that once a person is released from prison, he or she will then face mandatory, lifetime sex offender registration if they were convicted of certain enumerated charges. Registration includes providing law enforcement your address, place of employment and other information about your life at various times.
In addition to mandatory registration, being labeled a sex offender can have other negative impacts on a person’s life, including making it more difficult to find a place to live, work or go to school.
Because the potential consequences of a charge of endangering the welfare of a child are very serious, protecting your rights and freedom should be taken just as, if not more, seriously. Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney if you face charges of possession or distribution of child pornography.