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It is therefore important to have an experienced criminal defense team on your side when you are facing any sort of investigation or formal charge.
The Texas Penal Code defines a number of crimes under the general category of “public indecency.” This includes a number of offenses involving the use or promotion of minors—individuals under the age of 18—performing or simulating sexual acts.
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However, if the exploited minor is under the age of 14, the offense is elevated to a second-degree felony, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.
Criminal & sexual exploitation of a minor is not limited to people who knowingly produce and sell child pornography videos.
There are, in fact, cases where a person unknowingly has images on their computer or other electronic device that that qualify as child pornography.
And under the Penal Code, if a person has “six or more identical visual depictions of a child” engaged in sexual conduct, that is considered proof that the individual has “the intent to promote the material.” One problem with the traditional legal approach to exploitation of minors is that it criminalizes what has become routine dating behavior in Texas high schools—namely, boyfriends and girlfriends sending provocative photos to one another via text or email.
Section 43.25 of the Penal Code, for example, makes “sexual performance by a child” a felony.
At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we understand the seriousness of criminal charges related to the sexual exploitation of a minor.
While stopping and preventing child pornography is an admirable goal, there are many times when innocent people get caught up in the public panic over behavior like “sexting” and other acts that do not include the criminal exploitation of a minor.
Another type of exploitation involves using images of minors engaged in sexual conduct for the purpose of embarrassing or harassing them.
Such “cyber-bullying” is treated as a Class B misdemeanor under Texas law for a first offense. Unfortunately, even saying the words “child pornography” tends to drive people into a frenzy where they demand immediate retribution based solely on unsubstantiated allegations.