leader of a child porn network, cp, child pornography, sex offense

NJ creates new sex offense, “Leader of Child Pornography Network”

As of February 1, 2018, it is a crime to be a “leader of a child porn network.” It is now illegal to create or maintain an online network that allows a group of users to download files containing child porn.  Today, people use technology more in their daily lives, so the NJ Legislature has revised our state’s sex offense laws where technology is involved.  Recent sources – including a press release from the NJ Legislature and an article from U.S. News – discuss the NJ Legislature’s intent when it passed this law.

What is a “Leader of a Child Porn Network”?

First, this new crime is similar to the crime of using a file-sharing program to store or maintain an item that shows child pornography.  Both are Megan’s Law offenses. If you are convicted of either, you must register as a sex offender in New Jersey.

Yet, one difference between the two crimes is that a “leader of a child pornography network” does not have to personally store child pornography on the network.  The language of this new crime states that it is a crime to conspire with others to establish or maintain a child porn distribution network.  Thus, a person who only “facilitates” or “organizes” such a network may be charged.

Elements of “Leader of Child Pornography Network”

In addition, in N.J.S. 2C:24-4.1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, a person is a “leader of a child porn network” if he or she:

  • Knowingly conspires with others as organizer, moderator, administrator, programmer, recruiter or facilitator,
  • to engage in scheme/course of conduct,
  • to establish or maintain an interconnected network through which files having 1 or more items depicting sexual exploitation/abuse of child
  • are made available to/accessible among organized group of users.

Lastly, the severity of the charge depends on how many items of child pornography are involved:

  • 100,000 or more items = 1st degree
  • At least 1,000 but less than 100,000 items = 2nd degree
  • Less than 1,000 items = 3rd degree

How will this new crime be prosecuted?

It is too early to say how prosecutors will interpret this new law.  But three things are known:

  • First, those convicted of violating this new law will be put on Megan’s Law.  Also, those convicted must register as a sex offender in New Jersey.
  • Second, others in the community may be told that a person is on Megan’s Law.
  • Third, Prosecutors may make a motion to impose the punishment of Community Supervision for Life (CSL) on an offender.

Contact our firm for a free consultation:

The firm of Maynard Law Office, LLC keeps current on New Jersey’s sex offense laws.  Our firm focuses on defending those charged with sex offenses.  These matters are complex and require careful attention to detail.

In conclusion, if you or someone you know has been charged with being a “Leader of a Child Pornography Network,” it is vital to talk to an attorney! Early and effective representation is crucial to obtaining the best legal outcome possible.

Call Maynard Law Office, LLC today at 973-540-0054 to see if we can assist in the defense of your case!

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