Miami Man Charged With Possession Of Child Pornography
A Miami man is facing criminal charges of possession of child pornography after a box of photographs was found in an abandoned storage unit rented most recently to him. According to reports, the man had stopped making monthly rental payments at the storage facility. The contents of the unit were sold and, when the new owner of the contents was going through his purchase, he found the box containing pornographic photographs. He alerted authorities, who arrested the Miami man who had previously rented the storage unit holding the box.
Child Pornography Defined and Classified
Florida law defines child pornography, quite simply, as any image showing a minor engaged in sexual activity; the term ‘minor’ includes anyone under eighteen years of age. Once child pornography images are recovered during a criminal investigation, the materials are then turned over to law enforcement with the Child Victim Identification Program at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children along with any applicable case information. The crimes of possession, distribution, transmission, and manufacture of child pornography are all classified as felonies of the third degree in Florida, though in certain circumstances, the offense will be reclassified to a higher degree. Violations that will be reclassified to a higher degree include those in which the defender possesses ten or more images of child pornography and at least one of those images is of a child under five years of age, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual battery, or sexual bestiality involving a child, or any movie involving a child. For cases in which the original felony is a third degree crime, the offense is reclassified to second degree; in those cases in which the original felony is second degree, its reclassification is first degree.
Penalties For Child Pornography In Florida
Those who are convicted of third degree felonies in Florida can face up to five years in prison, receive fines of up to $5,000, or both. For second degree felonies, a convicted criminal can be imprisoned for up to fifteen years as well as be assessed a fine of up to $10,000 – or, again, upon conviction, may receive both. For those who have previous felony convictions, increased sentences may be imposed and, those convicted of certain crimes associated with child pornography may be required to register as sex offenders in the state database.
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