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Child Pornography

Polk County Child Porn Sting Nets 17 Arrests

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 17 people in a month-long child porn sting.

The arrests stem from a month-long operation called Guardians of Innocence IV: Fall Haul.

Detectives allege that among those arrested were a man who was caught while trying to meet a child for sexual favors, two men who were trying to get nude photos from two different 13-year-old girls, and another suspect who admitted that if he didn’t look at child pornography, he would sexually batter children.

Detectives claim that one of the suspects had hundreds of images of child pornography with children of various ages, including a child as young as 8 to 12 months old.

The suspects range in age from 19 years old to 77 years old.

The suspects face a total of 626 charges, including 624 felonies and two misdemeanors. 

One of the fastest growing criminal prosecutions of all time in the United States involve Internet sex crimes, which includes the viewing, downloading, possession, and distribution of child pornography. Every single day, state and other federal law enforcement agencies are actively conducting undercover stings on the Internet to try and find people to arrest on child pornography charges.

People make mistakes, and these mistakes can be uncovered by law enforcement. The consequences of possessing child pornography or if you were mixed up in engaging in an illicit chat online, email, via text, or through social media platforms like Facebook with a minor under the age of 18, or unknowingly with a law enforcement investigator posing as a minor conducting an Internet sting, can be quite harsh.  

Law enforcement officials are usually quite aggressive when it comes to catching alleged sex offenders in Internet sex stings. They can even be so overzealous that they entrap naive and innocent adults. Police will strike up conversation in chat rooms or social media sites pretending to be young boys or girls looking to have sex. In some cases, they may even pretend to be the parent of a child looking for someone to take their young child’s virginity. Regardless of how police choose to catch alleged predators, they will manipulate the conversation to get their targets to solicit an illegal sex act or participate in viewing, possessing, or transmitting child pornography. 

Whatever the scenario entails, we all know what happens next – the person is charged with a sex crime, or even multiple sex crimes charges, and is facing siginificant time behind bars. Along with the legal consequences, there are also social and professional consequences of a sex charge such as child pornography.

If you are convicted of possessing child porn, you could be facing the following penalties for every count you are found guilty of: 

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Up to 5 years probation 
  • $5,000 fine 
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender

If you are convicted of transmitting or distributing child pornography, you could be facing: 

  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Fine up to $5000
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender

An experienced Child Pornography Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you fight these charges by advocating and negotatiating on your behalf. While no two cases are exactly alike, negotiations can often result in lessened charges and possibly a reduced punishment. If the charges have highlighted a serious personal issue that you are having trouble coming to terms with, then we can try and find you a treatment program that can help you, and work to keep you out of federal prison. We can listen to your side of the story and determine what the best next steps are. We can then communicate and negotiate with the prosecution to come up with an outcome that you can live with. 

We urge you to get the legal help you need as soon as you have been arrested or think you will be charged with a crime. You need experienced and aggressive legal help whether you are guilty or are falsely accused. 

As with any sex crimes allegations, there is very little public sympathy toward those accused of a child pornography offense, even if you are wrongly accused. Everyone will automatically assume you are guilty, and you can expect to lose friends and family members from the mere accusation that you were involved in child porn. If you are facing child porn charges, you absolutely need our help. We will do everything within our power to make sure that you get a fair hearing and the best possible outcome. As former prosecutors, we know how to defend good people caught up in very bad situations. 

Tue Nov 12, 2:06pm

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