Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance
Florida’s child pornography offenses are among the most harshly punished crimes in the state, often resulting in lengthy jail sentences and mandatory sex-offender registration requirements. More specifically, the use of a child in a sexual performance is one of the most serious Florida sex crimes. The crime provides severe punishments for those who facilitate the creation of child pornography.
At the Mayberry Law Firm, Attorney Jason Mayberry has been representing good people charged with very serious crimes for more than 15 years. He understands what’s on the line in these types of cases and does everything possible to ensure that your arrest has as little impact on your future as possible.What Is Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance?
Under Florida Statutes § 827.071(2), it is considered a felony of the second degree for anyone to employ, authorize or induce a child to engage in a sexual performance. This subsection applies to anyone, regardless of their relationship with the child. However, it is also a felony of the second degree for a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child to provide consent for a child to participate in a sexual performance. In Florida, a second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. In addition, anyone convicted of the use of a child in a sexual performance will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Additionally, in certain cases involving ten or more images of child pornography, enhanced child pornography penalties may apply.What Are the Elements of Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance?
Before a judge or jury can convict anyone of a crime, the prosecution must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of the use of a child in a sexual performance are:
1. The defendant employed, authorized or induced a minor to engage in a sexual performance; or
1a. The defendant, who was a parent, guardian or custodian of a minor, consented to the child engaging in a sexual performance; and
2. The defendant knew the character and content of the performance; and
3. At the time of the performance, the minor was under 18 years old.
When the statute uses the term “sexual performance,” it refers to any image, video, play or other visual representation depicting a child engaging in sexual intercourse, anal sex, oral sex, masturbation, bestiality, or lewd exhibition of the genitals. However, a mother breastfeeding her child cannot be considered sexual conduct.Offenses Related to Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance
Florida has many laws on the books criminalizing the use of minors in pornography. Thus, prosecutors will often bring multiple related charges, such as:
- Possession of Child Pornography – Florida Statutes § 827.071(5)(a)
- Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child – Florida Statutes § 827.071(3)
- Transmission of Child Pornography by Electronic Device – Florida Statutes § 847.0137
- Transmission of Material Harmful to Minors – Florida Statutes § 847.0138
If you have been charged with the use of a child in a sexual performance, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced Hillsborough County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At the Mayberry Law Firm, Attorney Jason Mayberry relies on his ability to think outside the box to secure favorable results for his clients facing serious child pornography offenses. Through informed and strategic negotiation, Attorney Mayberry is often able to convince prosecutors to offer plea agreements that avoid the worst consequences of a sex crime conviction. However, with more than 15 years of experience litigating all types of serious felony cases, Attorney Mayberry will not hesitate to take a case in front of the jury to obtain the best result possible. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa criminal defense attorney today, call 813-444-7435. You can also reach us through our online contact form.