New York sex abuse victim attorney and lawyer for victims of child pornography, James Marsh, defines child pornography.
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Child pornography is basically any visual depiction of a child, which is minor, anyone under the age of 18 engaged in sexual activity. Now that’s a sort of an easy description of what child pornography is, unfortunately, like everything else that’s visual or subject to subjective interpretation not all depictions of child nudity is child pornography. So some people think child pornography is babies in the bathtub or children running through a sprinkler or some kids parading half nude on the beach. While those, depending on the circumstances may be considered child pornography most of the cases that we deal with and most of the victims that we address in this context are nowhere near those kinds of depictions.
We’ve heard a lot about sexting, underage sexting and the exchange of nude images between teenagers. Not all of those images are going to be child pornography but unfortunately, the way the law is structured now even legal sexual activity between teenagers when reduced to a visual depiction whether it be a picture or a video can be considered child pornography. Child pornography is both state law and federal law, which are similar but slightly different. So anytime you’re dealing with an issue concerning child pornography you need to be aware that there are difference between state and federal laws and there are also difference between state and federal law enforcement and prosecutions.