Sex Crimes At The Federal Level

FEDERAL SEX CRIMES

No other crimes in our society result in the strong, negative stigma and social scorn, as do sexual crimes. The mere allegation of sexual impropriety can often have disastrous and long-lasting negative consequences. In fact, sexual offenses and allegations of sexual misconduct are among the most serious crimes that we handle. As such, federal law encompasses many sex-related crimes, including many laws designed to protect children. If the allegations result in a conviction, a defendant may be placed on a sexual offender registry.

For those being charged with or investigated for any of the sex crimes listed below, it is important to act quickly to obtain the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The selection of the right attorney may be the most important decision you make as you move forward with your defense.

For a free case evaluation, call the sex crimes defense attorneys at The McKellar & Easter Law Firm today at 865-566-0125.

The following statutes apply to violations of federal law.  For violations of Tennessee statutes dealing with sex crimes, please visit our Tennessee Sex Crimes Page.

Statutes Regarding Obscene Material or Pornography and Minors

Statute Summary Punishments
18 USC § 1466A
Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children
This statute applies to anyone who produces, distributes, transmits, transports, communicates, receives, or possesses with intent to distribute a visual depiction involving a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.Fines, imprisonment of no more than 2 years, or both.
18 USC § 1470
Transfer of Obscene Material to Minors
This statute applies to anyone who mails or uses other means of interstate or foreign commerce to transfer obscene matter to an individual under 16 years old, with knowledge that individual is underage.Fines, imprisonment of no more than 10 years, or both.
18 USC § 2252
Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors
This statute applies to anyone who uses foreign or interstate commerce (including computer and mail) to knowingly transport, ship, receive, distribute, sell, possess with intent to sell, or possess with intent to view, any visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit behavior.Range from imprisonment of no less than 5 years and up to 40 years, as well as possible additional fines.
Determining factors affecting the length of the sentence include prior convictions of certain sex crimes and the victim’s age.
18 USC § 2252A
Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography
This statute applies to anyone who uses foreign or interstate commerce (including computer and mail) to knowingly mail, transport, ship, distribute, or reproduce child pornography; or possesses with intent to sell or view child pornography; or advertises, promotes, presents, distributes, or solicits any material containing sexually explicit conduct by a minor; or distributes, offers, sends, or provides to a minor any visual depiction containing a minor engaged in sexually explicit behavior.Range from imprisonment of no less than 5 years and up to 40 years, as well as possible additional fines.
Determining factors affecting the length of the sentence include prior convictions of certain sex crimes, the victim’s age, and individual circumstances surrounding the violation(s).
18 USC § 2252B
Misleading Domain Names on the Internet
This statute applies to anyone who knowingly uses a misleading domain name on the Internet in order to deceive a minor into viewing obscene material or material that is harmful to the minor.Fines, imprisonment for no more than 10 years, or both.
18 USC § 2260
Production of Sexually Explicit Depictions of a Minor for Importation into the United States
Any person who, outside the United States, employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct with the intent that it will be imported into the United States; or who receives, transports, ships, sells, or possesses with intent to distribute any visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit behavior with the intent that it will be imported into the United States.Range from imprisonment of no less than 5 years and up to life or death sentences, as well as possible additional fines.
Determining factors affecting the length of the sentence include prior convictions of certain sex crimes, the victim’s age, and individual circumstances surrounding the violation(s).
18 USC § 2251
Sexual Exploitation of Children
Any person who, outside the United States, employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct, or for the purposes of transmitting a live, visual depiction of the conduct; or who transports any minor with the intent that such minor engage in any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct or for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct.Range from imprisonment of no less than 15 years and up to life sentences, as well as possible additional fines.
Determining factors that may result in a longer sentence or death include prior convictions of certain sex crimes.

SEX CRIMES DEFINITIONS

Below are several definitions for terms often used when dealing with sex-related crimes:

Age of consent – The age at which criminal statutes acknowledge that an individual is capable of consenting to sexual acts, which varies by state.

Aggravated – Any circumstances during the commission of a crime that increase its seriousness or the injury.

Child pornography –Any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct.

Coercion – The use of force or threats of serious harm, including the use of physical restraint(s), against any person, intended to cause a person to do something against their will.

Forcible Sex Offenses – The act of forcible sexual intercourse with any person with some forcible compulsion to submit despite earnest resistance.

Mistake of Fact – An error, incorrect decision or assumption, or a misunderstanding caused by the ignorance or facts or circumstances. As it relates to statutory rape and several other federal sex crimes, it does not matter if the perpetrator did not know that the victim was below the age of consent.

Molestation – The crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children.

Non-forcible Sex Offenses – Sexual acts with individuals who are not capable of giving consent to sexual acts. Determining factors to determine an individual’s incapability may vary from state to state, but federal laws generally include those who, at the time of the crime, were underage victims, those who were physically helpless, and those who are permanently mentally disabled or were temporarily mentally incompetent. Consent is not considered to be a valid defense to the crime.

Rape – Sexual intercourse without consent and accomplished through force, threat of violence or intimidation.

Rape Shield Laws – Laws enacted to protect victims from the emotional trauma of being questioned about their sexual history on the witness stand.

Sexting – The act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones. In the U.S., a teenager texting sexually explicit photographs of him/herself, or of their friends or partners, can be charged with distribution of child pornography and those who receive the images can been charged with possession of child pornography.

Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) – The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248). SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States.Statutory Rape – sexual relations with anyone who has not reached the legal age of consent.

Get Our Help Today

If you're facing criminal charges or the threat of an investigation by federal agents for alleged sex crimes, you need to contact an attorney right away. Your constitutional rights could be in danger and you are entitled to protect them. The lawyers at McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law, are here to help.

To make an appointment at any of our three offices — Knoxville, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia — call 865-566-0125 or send us an email. All initial telephone consultations are free and we accept credit cards.