Criminal Defense Attorneys
Our firm has dedicated and experienced attorneys that help individuals that have been federally charged with the crime of sexual exploitation of minors. Their many years of experience help individuals understand the nature of the charge and will seek to provide the best legal representation to those that have been charged with these crimes.
Individuals that have been federally charged with sexual exploitation of minors are facing very severe penalties. Due to the nature of the crime, and if it is a repeat offense, individuals could face life imprisonment or capital punishment.
If you or a loved one has been charged with the crime of sexual exploitation of a minor, please call our firm today. We can assist at any time and help individuals throughout the entire process.
What Are Types of Sexual Exploitation?
Hundreds of thousands of minors are sexually exploited every year.1
The range of exploitation of these minors has been very diverse. Human trafficking, prostitution, engaging or encouraging the sexual activity of minors, or the recording, distributing, possessing, or viewing of sexual activity of minors, are all considered sexual exploitation.2
The US has increased its prosecution of such crimes due to the creation of new laws and increased efficacy of investigative processes.3 Many charges of sexual exploitation will be accompanied by other charges or violations.
Attempt to Sexually Exploit
An individual may also face charges even if they only attempted to engage in the activity.4
Charges of sexual exploitation of a minor have severe legal and social consequences. Individuals that have been charged with these crimes should seek to be represented by a firm that will assist throughout the entire process. Our firm has the dedication and the experience to help individuals that have been charged with these crimes.
Please call our office today! We can help with any questions or concerns that you may have concerning the law. Our team will help you understand the law and help in your current circumstances.
What is “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor?”Examples of “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor”
Federal law stipulates that any behavior that causes a minor to be involved in sexual activity is considered sexual exploitation of a minor. Attempting to engage in such behavior will also be considered sexual exploitation of a minor.
Federal law defines a minor as any individual who is under 18 years of age.
Examples of “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor”
Here are some ways that an individual will be committing a crime of sexual exploitation of a minor. This list is not exhaustive.
- Transporting minors to be involved in sexual activity
- Forcing minors to engage in sexual activity with another person
- Engaging in sexual activity with a minor in exchange for gifts or money
- Soliciting minors for prostitution
- Soliciting prostitution from an individual who would reasonably be presumed to be a minor
- Being involved in the exchange or sale of minors that will engage in sexual activity
- Recording or providing live viewing of minors engaged in sexual activity
- Being a parent or guardian and allowing your child to engage in acts of exploitation
- Encouraging a minor to engage in sexual activity with another
- Creating, distributing, possessing or viewing child pornography
- Employing a minor to engage in sexual activity
- Attempting to engage in sexual activity with a minor
Essentially, any behavior towards a minor that promotes certain activity, for your own or someone else’s sexual gratification, will likely be considered sexual exploitation of a minor.
If you feel that your activity could be considered sexual exploitation of a minor, call our office today.
When is the sexual exploitation of a minor considered a federal crime?
There are many state and federal laws that criminalize sexual exploitation of minors. Federal law applies in specific circumstances. If the act occurs on federal land, US waters, federal territories, or on federal reservations, it will be considered a federal crime.
Also, if the act occurs across state lines, involves mail or the mail system, or electronically disseminated either through a phone system or the internet, or is likely to involve these mechanisms, it will also be considered a federal crime.
Here is a list of possible ways that certain activity would be a federal crime.
- The act happened on federal land or a federal territory such as Washington D.C. or Puerto Rico
- The act happened on a federal Indian reservation
- Transporting minors across state lines or onto federal land for illicit sexual activity
- The act involved transmitting information through the mail, phone or internet
- Transactions for such activity occurred through the mail, phone, or internet
- Communication to commit such activity occurred through the mail, phone or internet
- Creating, broadcasting, distributing, possessing or viewing such activity occurred through the mail, phone or internet
If your activity occurred across state lines via transportation or communication, or on federal land, you might be charged with a federal crime.
What are the possible penalties for sexual exploitation of a minor?
The penalties for federal charges of sexual exploitation of a minor are very steep. For a first offense, an individual can be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. For a second offense, an individual may face a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison. For any offenses beyond this, an individual may be sentenced to life in prison.
If that individual’s actions caused the death of another, even indirectly, that individual may be sentenced to death. Also, each offense carries a minimum sentence ranging from 15 – 35 years in prison. Also, for it to be considered a second or more offense, it does not have to be a federal crime.
If an individual has been convicted previously of a state crime of sexual exploitation of a minor or similar offense, it will be considered a previous offense under the statute.
Also, depending on the circumstances of the offense, if there are previous offenses, will also result in varying fines. These fines can be extremely significant.
What if it’s a severe offense?
Individuals facing federal charges of sexual exploitation of a minor may result in lengthy incarcerations and significant fines. For repeat or severe offenses, individuals may face life imprisonment and very severe fines.
Are there any defenses to federal charges to sexual exploitation of a minor?
Yes. Our team is dedicated to providing the best defense in you and your loved one’s current circumstances. Call us today, and we can help you understand the best options for you and your loved ones.
Also, federal law also stipulates that there are a couple of defenses if you have come into possession of child pornography. However, this defense is very narrow, and we strongly encourage you to talk to an experienced attorney, so you can understand what the best option will be in your current circumstances.
Charges of sexual exploitation of a minor have severe consequences for you and your loved ones. Our firm will help provide a legal defense to eliminate or minimize these consequences to you and your loved ones.
Current events with sexual exploitations of minors
Article 1: Man indicted on three counts of child sexual exploitation
Charge: Sexual exploitation of a minor
Allegations: A man sexually abused children in his home on several occasions, and electronically recorded the abuse.
In 2018, a man in Norwell, Massachusetts, Derek Sheehan, was indicted on three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The man allegedly sexually abused and filmed the abuse of children in his home.
According to the DOJ press release, Sheehan would have children in his home that he knew He would sexually abuse the children, electronically record the events and store the recordings across various electronic devices. He also had other child pornography stored on his devices. These were discovered after law enforcement executed a warrant to search Sheehan’s home.
Law enforcement is still in the process of going through all the data on Sheehan’s electronic devices due to the large volume of data that the devices could store. Sheehan was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2018. He is in state custody pending similar state charges. Sheehan faces up to 30 years in prison and a 250,000 dollar fine for each offense.
Article 2: Man sentenced to 27 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor
Charge: Sexual exploitation of a minor, production of images of child sexual abuse
Allegation: A man sexually abused a five-year-old girl that he knew and recorded the incident with his cell phone.
In 2018, Gregory Kyle Seerden, a former Navy SEAL, was sentenced to 27 years in prison after being convicted for sexually exploiting a child and producing images of child sexual abuse.
According to the DOJ press release, Seerden was found to be in possession of child pornography, both images, and video, after a complaint was filed by a woman who stated that Seerden sexually assaulted her.
Among the child pornography stored on Seerden’s iPhone, was images of Seerden sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl who was familiar with Seerden. The sexual assault occurred while the child was sleeping. Seerden has also been charged with a very similar crime in San Diego. This charge is resulting from an activity that occurred in 2014.
Seerden was sentenced to 27 years in prison, 25 years of supervised release, and 10,000 dollars for producing images of child sexual abuse.
Article 3: A man who solicited prostitution from two minors sentenced to 10 years in prison
Charge: Sexual exploitation of a minor
Allegation: A man solicited prostitution from two female minors on numerous occasions.
In 2019, Steve Nowell was sentenced for the sexual exploitation of a minor and was ordered to pay restitution to the minor victims. According to the DOJ press release, Nowell was a frequent sex customer of a prostitution ring in Virginia. On numerous occasions, Nowell engaged in sexual activity with two female minors, aged 16 and 14.
Nowell admitted to engaging in sexual activity with one of the minors but did not know her real age. The minor weighed between 80 and 90 pounds at the time. Nowell had installed a hidden camera in his home. Law enforcement discovered that Nowell had recorded some of his sexual encounters with the minors.
Nowell had paid for sex with the minors on at least 23 different occasions. His identity was revealed to local law enforcement by the minors and several co-conspirators of the prostitution ring. Nowell was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay 8,900 dollars in restitution to the minor victims.
What should I do if I have been federally charged with sexual exploitation of a minor?
Due to the gravity of the consequences you may face if you are convicted, or even accused or these crimes, individuals that have been charged with these crimes should immediately seek legal representation. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing you with effective representation.
We are here to help you and your loved ones understand the nature of the charge, the law, and your best options under the current circumstances. Our team is knowledgeable and has the experience to help you through this difficult time. Our firm has helped many individuals in your situation, and we would like to help you and your loved ones.