Troubling consequences of federal child pornography laws

February 19, 2014

By Andrew Extein, MSW
Co-authored by Galen Baughman


Until Dec. 11, 2013, Jesse Ryan Loskarn was a popular chief of staff for a Tennessee senator. But on that winter day, police broke down the door of his rowhouse in southeast Washington, D.C., and searched for the illegal digital items that had led them there: explicit videos of boys posing nude and engaging in sexual acts.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, Ryan was found dead in his basement.

On Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, there was a twist. Ryan’s mother posted his suicide note online, revealing the great complexity to his story. He wasn’t a faceless headline, wasn’t a cautionary tale, wasn’t a vague story of justice. He became what most people didn’t want him to be: a human being.

What most of us have trouble comprehending — an argument all but forbidden in our current climate — is that Ryan could be understood as a victim himself. For his suicide note reveals a stunning truth: his own history of sexual abuse, one that had far-reaching, complex emotional effects.


The way the government punishes the purchasing, downloading, possession, or distribution of child pornography has become increasingly draconian. According to Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), the length of federal child pornography sentences has increased 500-percent in the last 15 years. The federal mandatory minimum is five years for receipt, distribution, possession with intent to distribute or sell, transportation, or production of child pornography — per image. This conduct could range anywhere from producing explicit images of the violent abuse of children to accidentally clicking on the wrong link or inadvertently downloading a video on a file-sharing network. Yet law enforcement (and society generally) conflates these situations; child pornography becomes a loaded and intimidating institution that needs to be crushed. (see Huff Post for full story)

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61 Thoughts to “Troubling consequences of federal child pornography laws”

  1. I feel for all those that have to go through all this. I myself am on a sex registry and some of the restrictions are not fair, and yes I have thought about killing myself but what would that prove?

    Sex is a sin just like any other disobedience is. When the law takes matters in its own hands and pressures one they are accountable for their faults also. I’m not saying that killing oneself is the right thing to do but with the pressure surrounding it, it would make one want to commit suicide. I am sorry for the loss of this loved one but pressures can take there toll in the mind of people and the end can result in a bad way. The Bible says if you confess your sins God is just to forgive you, but not so for the state as they want to keep one in bondage. That just goes to show you the humanity of mankind, weather its Government or a fascism state.

    There is no common sense in Government when it comes to the sex registry or people having something on there computer they shouldn’t have. See Government use of sex as a weapon and the registry is like a Hitler’s list so show the world that this guy committed a sin….. I wish the Government would have a list of all the sin’s of those in Government and the crooked police officers that try to make a name of themselves when there are no better than the next person.

    I feel truly sorry for Jesse Ryan and my condolences to his family as this is very tragic.

    These things should never happen, but if we all learn to forgive and learn a more effective way to deal with situations like this without making a prisoner to these types of pressures and help in all cases of sex registry offenses than the States would be better served. Remember the Government people are only public servants. Some might say their vigilante groups with all these ways to put people in bondage for the rest of there lives with these sex laws, why they right there own rules and have them pass some committee ….

    I would never vote for anyone who wants to put someone in bondage for the rest of their life, and I’m sure you all should feel the same way.

    1. AvatarAnonymous

      What J. TOWNSEND wrote is the best advice for people dealing with these BS porn charges. Some people have gone into serious depression and others have killed themselves, for what? So that the Injustice Government of the US can have the last laugh? Do you think what these bastards and lawmakers are doing is OK? Open your eyes. This isn’t the Land of the Free. This is the Land of BS that have ZERO common sense, fees, fines, and taxes. You’re going to justify throwing people in jail for LOOKING at pictures that you find inappropriate? How Sick in the head do you have to be to destroy people’s lives like this? If these Government officials really wanted to help, they would Fine people for possessing or Accidentally Distributing the Porn, and jail those that actually Physically coerce a child into making Porn. THAT is the fair and balanced way to deal with these “Crimes”. Putting people on a Sex Offender list for possessing, viewing or accidentally sharing Porn of ANY kind is a Disgrace to the USA and founding fathers of this country. It is a pathetic, cowardly, vicious act, which the Public goes along with unfortunately because whatever their Beloved Government tells them is the God’s word and you cannot dare to question God’s word, right? The people that push for these laws should spend some time in Jail and get a good idea of how it feels to ruin decent people’s lives and their families. What a country the USA has turned into! Leading the world in Stupidity, and Zero Common Sense. The same War of Drugs witch hunt has turned into the War on Porn. Throw people in jail for smoking an herb, now throw people in jail for looking at porn. Please stay strong people! The politicians whot make these laws and the prosecutors who vengefully go after such ‘crimes’ just do it to make a big name for themselves. They’re not worth your Breath, let alone your Tax dollars. We need to come together and act to change the system and the injustices that normal, good people have to suffer due to these BS “sex offense” laws. Funny how they don’t have a Violent Offender List right? Doesn’t anybody ever question these things? How is a Porn viewer more dangerous than someone who smashed someone’s head in? Once again, an example of how Pathetic this country’s ‘Justice’ system has become. Stay strong and know that THEY are in the wrong for ruining your life, not you.

    2. AvatarNena

      Very well said.

  2. AvatarJ Strider

    I feel exactly the same. I was accused and prosecuted with no evidence other than hearsay. And now I am marked and judged for life. I have to go through hoops every day just to live that day out of prison. It does seem to me death is more preferable sometimes than living in what seems only a prison with it’s walls expanded with an illusion of being free finally. So many restrictions and requirements with costs associated with keeping compliant is an almost impossible task without assistance from another person or persons who you might be fortunate enough to have in your life. Colorado needs to get with the rest of the nation in doing away with the lifetime act!!

  3. AvatarBrian

    This is sadly familiar with my own situation. I too contemplated suicide countless times after being arrested for the possession of three videos of child pornography. Now my life is a prison without walls as J Strider mentions above. Each of my thoughts throughout the day are filtered through shame and the decision to kill myself or to search for some sort of life where I can feel whole again. But for all practical purposes,my life is over. Prior to my arrest,I had been a successful engineer and law-abiding citizen with no contact with the law throughout my forty five years.I had had nothing so much as a speeding ticket throughout my life but made a horrible mistake after isolating myself and allowing depression to take over my thinking.

    Now I live in shame and in constant fear of being approached by neighbors and strangers ( which has happened in the past) and constantly feel the walls closing in in an effort to escape the shame.

    I have successfully completed my sentence,probation and therapy but still continue to live under the label of “sexual predator”.

    I live in hope that one day there may be a system put in place in my state to appear in front of a judicial review board that would evaluate my case,life history and character to possibly remove me from the lifelong registration.

    1. AvatarWitch

      i am 100% with you Brian! i am 54 years i have lost everything ithat has ever meant anything to me. my family has abandoned me my wife of 20 years divorced me and my son has disowned me. I live in fear of being arrested for some assanine law that will land me in prison for the rest of my life. I was not convicted of child porn but pretty close to the same. My life has become meaningless. I have no family other than the ones that have disowned me. I am thinking about suicide at this very moment. I know I will eventually do it I just havent aquired the courage yet. Nobody will give a damn anyway. None of my family that is. I know that people say that they will care but I just dont believe them anymore. It has been 4.5 years since I have even spoken to my son. I dont even know him anymore. The pain I live with from the rejection the shame and guilt of it all is too much to endure. Im no threat to anyone yet I am on the registry for 25 years.

    2. AvatarBeth

      Please don’t kill yourself! My son will be released from federal prison in a little over three years. He had a 10 year sentence for child porn on the internet. Thanks to Obama his term was reduced to a little over seven years. I want to be there for my son and help him in every way I can. What he did was wrong, but everyone messes up one way or another. I do not believe he should be punished for the rest of his life for looking at pictures. I do not know exactly what will be required of him when he is released from prison, but I am aware it will not be pleasant, to put it mildly. I have just joined RSOL. I want to learn what I can do to help my son and others in similar situations.

    3. AvatarDeb

      I have a son who is in prison for child porn. Although it was a rented computer and the images were on the hard drive, the computer was in his name. When he sent it in for repair, and the pc was missing for four days and no one knew where the pc was, not even the rent-to-own store. When it was finally found and went for repair, then it was discovered that the child porn was downloaded. Although it was deleted, it was still on the hard drive. And it was proven that it was done before he rented it. It was in his name. We fought it for two years, and then the feds picked it up. And after a year of fighting he was given 90 months, and placed in a LOW risk prison. I lost everything I had, and so did my parents. But I will continue to do what I can for my son until my last breath.

    4. Avatarksmith

      Please tell me how he got out early.

    5. Avatarsue

      Beth ,
      How did your son get a reduction in his 10 year sentence to a little over 7???
      Our son is also serving an unjust sentence of 10 years. Anything to get him out sooner would be a blessing.
      I also want to learn and do everything I can to help our son and others with similar situations. I feel everyone’s pain and suffering.
      I just recently joined RSOL.
      You can also email me at
      Any input or advice is greatly appreciated.
      Thanks in advance.

    6. AvatarGlen

      Can you please send me information regarding Obama sentence reduction. My son is presently servicing a 15 year sentence for child porn. He did not produce or sell it, just downloaded onto his computer. My son is very kind young man, who had graduated from engineering school and was having hard time finding a job. After his arrest we learned he was molested as a child and at 12 went through a depression and started looking at porn. He stopped but became depressed again and went back to looking at porn and that’s when he was arrested. As a parents this is not only painful for your child but it is also painful for the entire family, because you’re serving the sentence right along with them.

    7. AvatarFrances

      Hi Beth,
      How can I find out about a new law about distribution? My brother was sentenced to 11 1/4 yrs. He took a plea deal advised by his lawyer. My brother is guilty of looking at cp, but never distributed it. He had something called p2p on his computer. They used that to convict him. There is a new law that starts in Nov,2016 for those convicted of distribution. How do I find it?

    8. AvatarJeff


      I feel your pain and suffering. I too was convicted of a misdemeanor 311.11 for four pictures that according to the police report the victims of the offense were sixteen years of age or older. I did not go out searching the internet for CP, I had just become addicted to porn as a result of isolating myself after to many broken hearts. As a result I spent 3 months in jail and have to register for the rest of my life. The one blessing is that my personal information is not on the megans list website. The shame and guilt of this followed me for a few years after the offense and all I thought about was wanting to end the fear, shame and guilt by taking my own life.

      This offense according 14 years ago, I lost my career as a IT professional but was lucky enough to find work in construction but, knew with and previous injuries I would not be physical able to do the work. So I decided to go back to college and get a Engineering Degree. Life was good and this point, I worked construction in the summers to pay my way. I was dirt poor but, the feelings of fear, shame and guilt had melted away. The only time I thought about my past offense was when I had to register.

      I was scheduled to graduate this fall 2014. So I confirmed that my attorney had expunged by case properly and he did. I was then told that I might want to do a name search on the internet of myself. No problem I thought there never was any mention of my case a few years after my conviction but, now 10 years later there is. I was shocked, terrified and the feelings of guilt and shame came racing back in. Six years in school for nothing. Now all I think about is death knowing any legit employer will do a name search.

      How do we go on, am a single guy from a large family that fully supports me and have many friends that know of my conviction and they support me. But I just cannot do the construction much longer due to back and shoulder replacement needs. Its only the prescribed anti-anxiety and sleeping pills that are keeping me here. I just cannot go through this lifetime of shaming and living in fear.

      I really relate to your “Each of my thoughts throughout the day are filtered through shame and the decision to kill myself or to search for some sort of life where I can feel whole again”

      If you don’t mind me asking, have you been able to find employment?

      May God bless you and bring you peace

    9. AvatarNick

      You might want to live in another state. I have understood that most states do not list people convicted of simple possession of child porn to public website.
      You could start from these sites to find information of what convictions require public listing in different states: and The clear information is not available for all states but these sites will give you at least some info for a start. Also WATCH OUT for the catch all statutes that might require life long registering when moving from another state. Some states e.g. Illinois, (if I recall right) has one, but you would not want to live there anyway since they list all offences on the public site. It would be wise to contact the registry board of the state to ask them directly how your offence would be treated in their registry system. Also consulting an attorney would be advisable before moving in to a new state.

      Good luck and stay strong people.

    10. AvatarNick

      Forgot to add that some states only require tier/level 3 offences to be put on public websites. Of course one never knows if and when these laws are goiing to change and if they will be aplied retroactivly, but still, I would consider moving as one possible solution to get off the public registry.

      Moving might not be easy but it is one option to have a fresh start.

  4. AvatarAnthony

    I am genuely against child pornography.
    Yet I do agree the definition has been greatly distorted as well as punishment for. As with so much internet traffic, virous’s, & bugs its too easy to click on the wrong thing.
    These laws should be only going after the production and producing of child porn when and only when an actual human being child is being perpitrated apon.
    Just like why go after the person illegally”

  5. AvatarDavid

    I feel all of your pain, I to think about killing myself to end the guilt shame and rejection.
    I was convicted on Federal charges of child porn back in 1995 and did 10 years and started my 10 year reg, in 2004, Did my supervision ending in 2007. Then in 2012 Pennsylvania changed it, thanks to Adam “F” in Walsh. to a life time registration.
    I lost everything, and slowly built back up to owning a home, and worked for awhile, until I got laid off. Then could not find work and my health took a turn for the worse, now I am disabled and living like a hermit, alone and unloved, and dying slowly from my health problems. And the state wants me to go every 3 months to take my picture and sign a card. So, I feel your pain brothers and sister, And, a year ago, RSOL, had a telephone conference and people seemed very willing to work and change things and I volunteered to help. But, that has been over a year, and nothing. So, if we can’t stand up united and make a stand and change things, we will not begin to feel, human again, and have a purpose in life.

    1. AvatarJM

      I am sorry that your having to deal with such a long and painful process, this is a new epidemic and I believe laws will change as more and more people struggle with it, our son is in year 1 of a 30 year sentence for cp, shared online with agents and provided password to the agents, thats 15 trafficking and 15 distribution , he will face lifetime registry and lifetime parole if he makes it out , things have to change and I hope we can all unite and be the push to get things done

  6. Most of the child pornography that is confiscated by law enforcement officials in the United States has been imported from foreign countries.  (Taylor & Clemetson, 2001). Aficionados and vice cops concede that practically all the sexually explicit images of children circulating on the net are the same stack of yellowing pages found at the back of those X-rated shops, only digitized. These pictures tend to be twenty to fifty years old, made overseas, badly re-reproduced, and for the most part pretty chaste. That may be why federal agents almost never show journalists the contraband. When a journalist did get a peek at a stash downloaded by Don Huycke, the national program manager for child pornography at the U.S. Customs Service, in 1995, they were underwhelmed. Losing count after fifty photos, they put aside three that could be called pornographic; a couple of shots were of adolescents masturbating, half-dressed twelve-year-old spreading her legs in a position more like a gymnast’s split than split beaver. The rest tended to be like 15yo’s with a 1950s bob and a grin.

    The promotion of exaggerated, or even false, ‘statistics’ on such issues is not a new phenomenon. However there appears to be a growing trend in the United States as well as the rest of the world giving new life to out of date statistics that have previously been found false or misleading. Many of these “statistics” originate from child abuse industry in the USA and UK. They need to keep the public scared in order to keep the tax dollars flowing increasing their funding by government and/or public donations in the name of the,”child”. The fear industrial complex is composed of politicians, activist groups and corporations that all sell us on the idea that they can provide safety from the very dangers they are scaring us about.

    Whenever somebody’s trying to scare me the question I ask myself who is benefiting from it, and in what way and how big is the danger more importantly is it really? Is it big, is it small, or is it just that they stand to benefit by making us scared? (The ‘Fear Industrial Complex’ How the Media, Government and Corporate America Bank on the Business of Fear”, John Stossel & Natalie D. Jaquez, ABC News 20/20, 23)

    Kenneth Lanning former Supervisory Special Agent, Behavioral Science Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy remarked in April of 1992, about Child Sex Rings: A Behavioral Analysis For Criminal Justice states, “Some professionals (dealing with child sexual abuse) however, in their zeal to make American society more aware of this victimization, tend to exaggerate the problem. Presentations and literature with poorly documented or misleading claims about one in three children being sexually molested, the $5 billion child pornography industry, child slavery rings, and 50,000 stranger-abducted children are not uncommon. Isn’t the problem is bad enough? Why does Law Enforcement embellish logical fallacies coupled with Gothic Melodramas, false and misleading news conferences.

    It’s not necessary to exaggerate the issue of child sexually abuse. Professionals those in Law Enforcement and the social sciences should cite reputable and scientific studies noting the sources of information. Real science demands child abuse industry professionals use real science and not some rehashed paper thrown together quoting cohorts with a publish or perish mentality perpetuating the golden egg they made for themselves. While everyone was out working hard trying to provide for there families the child abuse industry along with their lobbyists snuck in the back door infiltrating that which they can not derive from the voter. They put in motion using the federal government one of the biggest grabs for tax dollars in recent times all using the currant, “child abuse” rhetoric. What happened? The masses fell for it including the USA’s Supreme Court hook line and sinker without even a question because it is about,”The Children”. When the exaggerations and distortions are discovered, their credibility and the credibility of the issue are lost.

    Our society remains unwilling to make sexuality part of a comprehensive health education program in the schools. The idea that curious, young or old minds are vulnerable to bad thoughts, which may lead to bad acts is the founding principle of obscenity law. Society driven by logical fallacies spread by the child abuse industry remains at a high alert status and is anxious to the point of hysteria about young people and sex. Our public health policy concerning sexuality education appears to be ideologically motivated rather than empirically driven. This paper is about fear; America’s fears about child sexuality. The architects and practitioners of oppression use the term, “child protection” for what they do; However I have found the opposite to be true, because the sexual politics of fear is harmful to those under 18. This is not a new phenomenon back in 1868, an English anticlerical pamphlet called The Confessional Unmasked
    was deemed obscene and punishable because its text might, “suggest to the minds of the young of either sex, and even to persons of more advanced years, thoughts of a most impure and libidinous character.” (Marjorie Heins, INDECENCY: The Great American Debate over Sex, Children, Free Speech, and Dirty Words, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Monograph Paper #7, 1997, 4)

    Witch hunts alchemized the pornography scare which later became a more general panic over child sexual abuse with NO empirical evidence to support their claims. Radical Right Feminist, right wing fears and worries about children’s vulnerability to adult sexual desire has reified the therapy and child abuse industry’s. They have taught themselves to uncover abuse in every female patient’s past; It’s very lucrative. They saw profanity in the form of abortion, divorce, homosexuality, premarital teen sex, and sex education everywhere encroaching on sanctity. To them, it made sense that adults, with Satan as chief gang-banger, were conspiring in, “rings” to rape innocent children. Such myths have survived because they are useful for the left as well as for right conservative and patriarchal agendas. Republican crime bills have been indicting and sending innocent and victimized children to trial as adults tossing who are their most powerful weapon; However the right increasingly draws on a vocabulary of child protection as the bulwark of their campaign against multiculturalism, feminism, Internet expression and queer politics. The negate any meaningful political response to this conservative agenda which must reassess childhood innocence.

    Curiosity energizes and ennobles. Thoreau said, “The  greatest  compliment  that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”   Listening lifts people. Curiosity keeps people coming back whether there is a new gadget or not, because they know they might learn something new. Law Enforcement has learned from the social sciences on how to cultivates curiosity which make their, “child porn pull marketing”work. Curiosity keeps people engaged long after Law enforcement present their daily, “Gothic melodramas”where prosecutors and agents stand behind a podium all lined up in front of the camera and plastered on the front page of the news papers. There they demonize child porn and connect you to their pedophile drama while pretending to shut it down. They providing a person not just titillation but assurances by them they are our righteousness protectors.  A curious person would want to find out more because thats human nature and they know it.

    According to police files, 95% of allegedly abducted children turn out to be “runaways and throwaways” from home or kids snatched by one of their own parents in divorce custody disputes.(. Laliberte, “Missing Children,” 77.) Studies commissioned under the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984 estimate that between 52 and 158 children will be abducted and murdered by non family members each year. Extrapolating from other FBI statistics, those odds come out between 1 in 364,000 and fewer than 1 in 1 million.(According to the FBI, “classic” abductions, in which a child is taken by a nonfamily member more than fifty miles from home, held overnight, and ransomed or murdered, number two hundred to three hundred annually, or 1 child in every 230,000 (as of 1997).) A child stands a greater risk of dying in a car accident: 25% to 75% times greater.

    A pedophile,” depending on the legal statute, the perception of the psychologist, or the biases of the journalist, can be anything from a college freshman who has once masturbated with a fantasy of a twelve-year-old in mind to an adult who has had sexual contact with an infant.(. Marina Warner, “Little Angels, Little Monsters,” in her Six Myths of Our Time (New York: Vintage Books, 1994)) Pedophiles are not generally violent, unless you are using the term sexual violence against children in a moral, rather than a literal, way. Its perpetrators very rarely use force or cause physical injury in a youngster. (. John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 12-14, 43.)

    Nine in forty five million children are raped and murdered: slim odds, sure, but if it happens to your baby, who cares about the statistics? Our culture fears the pedophile, say some social critics, not because he is a deviant, but because he is ordinary and I don’t mean because he is the ice-cream man or Father Patrick ONeil. No, we fear him because he is us.

    Literary critic James Kincaid traced this terror back to the middle of the nineteenth century. We relish our erotic attraction to children, says Kincaid (witness the child beauty pageants in which JonBenet Ramsey was entered). but at the same time we also find that attraction abhorrent in which I believe we have become Congnative dissonant. This being a direct result of miss information perpetuated by Law Enforcement, government and the media who fail to go after the truth and more or less collude. (like what we witnessed in public shock and disgust at JonBenet’s “sexualization” in those pageants).

    So we project that eroticized desire outward, creating a monster to hate, hunt down, and punish. (. James R. Kincaid, Child-Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture (New York: Routledge, 1992); and James R. Kincaid, Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child-Molesting (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1998)).

    Herman’s work was at the front edge of a horrifying suspicion, the truth of which is now firmly established. Even if child-sex crimes against strangers are rare, incest is not. Like pedophilia, it’s hard to say how common it is, since incest figures are almost as mud died as those of adult-child sex outside the family. On one hand, child abuse statistics are notoriously unreliable; for example, of the 319,000 reports of sexual abuse of children in 1993, two-thirds were unsubstantiated.( National Incidence Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect, vol. 2 (Washington, D.C.: Department of Health and Human Services, 1993))

    When child pornographers first came to public light in 1976, researchers found them to be feeble beast and an even worse businessman. In fact, they were almost bankrupt. Raids aimed at cleaning up Times Square for the Democratic Convention uncovered only a minuscule cache of kiddie porn. (Lawrence Stanley, “The Child Porn Myth,” Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal 7 (1989): 295-358) But those few stacks of dusty, decades-old black and white rags, already illegal, were enough to launch a crusade. A child psychiatrist, Judianne Densen-Gerber, who founded the drug rehabilitation empire Odyssey House in New York led the team that would epitomize the anti CP forces. Joined by a vice cop, Sergeant Lloyd Martin, of the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Agencies of government eliminated and collected child pornography from the private sector. Now Law Enforcement agencies have become the sole reproducers and distributors of child pornography where virtually all advertising, distribution, and sales to people considered potential lawbreakers is being done by the federal government, in sting operations against people who have demonstrated through, for instance, membership in what agents regard as a predisposition to commit a crime. Thought crimes!!

    Instead of indicting our Monday night football buddies, rather than indict the family, though, we circle the wagons and project danger outward. “Screen out anyone who might be damaging to your child. Whenever possible, assume childcare responsibilities,” the FBI’s Kenneth Lanning advised the readers of Life Magazine; “Tell your kids that if an adult seems too good to be true, maybe they are.”(. Jennifer Allen, “The Danger Years,” Life, July 1995, 48.) During the 1960s and 1970s, sex panic gave way to sexual liberation, including, for a brief moment, the notion that children had a right to sexual expression. “Sex is a natural appetite,” wrote Heidi Handman and Peter Brennan in 1974, in Sex Handbook: Information and Help for Minors. “If you’re old enough to want to have sex, you’re old enough to have it.”. (Heidi Handman and Peter Brennan, Sex Handbook: Information and Help for Minors (New York: Putnam, 1974))

    1. AvatarNancy Galuppo

      How is it if this is so widespread that the sentencing for computer porn is so varied. After reading the United States Sentencing Commission report on sentencing for sounds as if they are confused on the sentences that are doled out with points so high that the “offender” will serve a 20 year sentence with life probation and other add ons for a first offense… the registry for life….so a person in his 20’s will be in his 40’s when released and no hope for employment or education….this is a life sentence. Not for killing someone or harming anyone…but for viewing…not sending or copying just viewing something that is on the computer……and we are filling our prisons with these first offenders……

  7. Avatarerich

    I have a great support group. Therapists, friends, blah, blah. They go home at night and say, poor him. They give me words like survive, and one day at a time. Mean while I face the distain of the public and the fear of homelessness and hunger. No steady work, no comforting relationship. I am single, jobless,no insurance, and low on funds. Ending it seems just logical.

  8. AvatarMartin

    6 years ago my son committed suicide in our basement. He hung himself. My wife found him and yelled for me to come quick. I performed CPR and called 911. It was too late, he was gone. My wife and I sank into a deep depression. For a few years we walked through each day with a dark cloud over our heads. My business declined which lead to financial struggles and more depression. After a few years I began missing the intimacy my wife and I once enjoyed. Due to her depression and her own attempt at taking her life, any advanced were rejected. Making an incredibly great decision (sarcasm), I turned to the internet for pornography. Over a year had gone by. I had discovered a file sharing program called eMule. I found large numbers of photos and videos available. As I discovered through therapy, adult men seeking pornography do not look for age appropriate photos and videos. It is the young women that are deemed the most attractive. With the large numbers of photos, sometimes in the tens of thousands, scaling down the searches resulted in more refined search results. What I was looking for were college age beauties. Unfortunately the search results also returned a number of illegal photos. Some as young as 15 or 16 as I later found out. These photos were deleted. All was well, or so I thought.

    My then 12 year old son, against my better judgement, talked his mother into allowing him a cell phone. He subsequently began texting a girl from his school. Her father discovered the photos and called the police. Early one morning a knock at my door from a large number of State Police and Federal Agents swarmed my home with guns drawn and a search warrant. They confiscated every computer, phone, and camera in the house. A year went by when they came to arrest me. I spent a weekend in jail with a huge amount of fear. I had never been in trouble before. We hired a very expensive attorney that ultimately was only able to get me a plea agreement that said I would plead guilty, avoid possible prison and they would not prosecute my son for sexting. They had found the 6 deleted photos on my hard drive. Because I was using the file sharing software eMule, I was prosecuted for distributing child sexually abusive material, given 5 years of probation and placed on the registry. My attorney told me the judge was even reluctant to sentence me due to the minimal and almost non-existent evidence. He entered into the record that I would be allowed to keep my children, attend any school functions and be involved in their life. My wife stood behind me the entire way. For this I consider myself to be extremely fortunate in the current climate of this “witch hunt”. My wife and I still struggle with depression. Therapy has helped. The overwhelming feelings and thoughts of helplessness and a hopeless future pervade my thoughts. Suicide has always been on my mind. My wife and children are all that prevent me from following through.

    For 25 years when society called for help I was there in my previous career. I deal with the mental images and occasional nightmares of that career. That same society that I was there for, has thrown me away as some kind of a repulsive monster. I admit I knew that some of my searches in eMule would include inappropriate images. I never kept a single image nor did I want them. I admit that what I did was selfish and thoughtless. No depression is an excuse for the behavior I demonstrated. I would like to say I never touched anyone, never wanted to touch anyone or contacted anyone in any way yet my life is over due to these incredibly draconian laws. While I do believe that true sex offenders should be monitored, I do not believe that a hyper-sensitized society needs to be aware of every “possible” danger. I have read that fewer than 18% of those on the registry are actually “touch” crimes. Why is the society that I defended and worked for for so many years throwing away such a large number of people that have made a mistake?

    I digress……I now will begin another day of depression, and fear. Wondering when the next shoe will fall. I am destroyed….

    1. AvatarJohn Cook

      Dear Martin I want you to know that me and my wife are behind you our 26 yr old is charged with state charges and we are fighting illinois over this he is looking at 57 to 213 yrs for videos that they say cannot be stopped. what they have done to you and him is to ruin your lives and show they are keeping crime down and thats sick. We are truly sorry for your loss and may
      GOD bless you and your family.

  9. Avatarksmith

    My daddy was just sentenced to 5 years. And, I see, we all have an opportunity to build each other up and find strength in our shared experiences. We cannot carry the weight of our sins around, or we will surely be crushed by the weight. Jesus did not die for us to carry guilt and shame the rest of our days. I always feel better if I can get out from under my sorrows long enough to help someone else. And I’m here needing your help tonight and for the next few years, it seems. Please tell me what to expect. Please give me whatever advice, strengths, anything that got you and your families through. How did you get out early? How is federal time? I don’t know anything and my hope is that educating myself will help.

    1. Avatara mother

      where is your dad going to be incarcerated at? fell free to email me at My family member is half way through his 5 year term.

    2. AvatarCuppy


      I’m reading your comment dated May 15th; just now reading this Jun 23…never been to this site before. Anyway, I was sentenced to 5 years at Allenwood LSCI (receipt of chi** **rn) and have been out for over a year. You are right that educating yourself is one of the best solutions to helping your dad, along with support, and getting adjusted to a temporary state of anxiety (granted 5 years is a long state of anxiety!) But, I say that in an encouraging way as much as I can considering it’s text and you can’t hear me say it. I could go on until ad nauseum about all the draconian things going on and how, I think this is going to be the new crime de’jour like the war on drugs was and still is. Anyway, I’d love to help in answering any questions but this method seems too tedious and inappropriate to (for me). Please email me at if you feel comfortable to answer questions. My name is Cameron. Considering I’m a stranger you might not but don’t hesitate. Looking forward to hearing from you and hang in there!

    3. AvatarjM

      I hope that you will find peace and become an advocate for families of offenders and for the offenders themselves but mostly to educate people to not start on this path.. as I believe it is a create appetite and not one that people born with

    4. AvatarJM

      ksmith, we are in year 1 of a 30 year sentence , my son is 25 years old, so far he is alive and working, how is your dad doing?

  10. Avatarleo

    Hi all my name is leo, honestly after reading all of your comments i took a moment with my 9mm in my fronthead and about to pull the trigger BUT GOD saved me and i decide to write this to any one of you.. anyone who has a heart and give me hope…. im asking for help 🙁 if you decide to help me please be free and reply me on my hotmail im really sad 🙁 ..ill leave my hotmail here (

    1. Avatarkami

      Hi leo hope this finds you well, life is a gift and suicide is not the answer the last 20 years of my life has been utterly hell I’ll give you a look the short version .
      My parents divorced when I was really young, my mother married this man who was very abusive growing up I was punched choked thrown picked up by my head and she never stopped him and if we told her something in confidence shed tell him and he’d grab me by the hair and drag me into their bedroom and now you tell him what you told me well after that I quit telling her anything .
      He beat me up really bad I was pregnant 20 weeks nothing was done to him I was looked at like a juvenile delinquent, mysterious accidents happened I broke my arm twice broken finger hurt my leg my eye got injured I had bruises on my back all the way down to my ankles, then they moved us to arkansas oh god I hated it there .
      I got regular beatings by moms husband I was getting A&b’s in school but when I tried to show my mom she slapped my face in my freshman year in high school I went to 6 different schools had no body but god all could do was pray I had the same boyfriend for three years until I found out he was married I was babysitting several kids so I was making some good money well I met this guy and married him to get away from these people these up standing Christian people .
      my mom was murdered by her stupid husband who completely got away with it.
      well I was with this guy 15 years he was an alcoholic and didnt help me with the babies at all but after trying to get a divorce forever after that I went and picked him up and made him sign the paper.
      then I met a guy who was kind and we were so compatible we had a child together he baught a house.
      b then my 15 yr neice was walking on a sidewalk with her friends she was struck by a drunk driver and killed.
      then my baby was molested I was homeless for about 9 months came back took back the land and house then my little one was sitting on the porch three dogs drug him off the porch he was bruised up and bloody but in the house and safe.
      I woke up and the house was on fire I went and woke everyone told them to get out then I went out but I did not see my baby and ran back in it was so black I could not see anything I walked back out there he was next thing I see was the blue sky then everything was black next thing I woke up in the emergency room I had burns on my feet .
      then on the forth of july someone backed up a uhaul to my door and broke in my house and stold everything I owned including my babys food, clothes and formula.
      after several more things I gave it all to god and hes not failed me yet I have faith that ill be ok, hell my car blew up last week not to long after I baught tags and insurance my car quit so I got my other car running and was fixing to go to a friends and had a flat I pulled off the road sat their for a min and thought I’d rather laugh than cry so dude get on facebook kami houston and god bless there is nothing so bad as to end your own life just let it go put your faith in god

    2. AvatarJM

      if you are doing anything illegal , stop, get rid of any connection to it and move forward in life. Get counseling and help. Your life has value and you have a purpose , one that when you find it , will give you joy and peace. Take time each day to be thankful out loud for the good things that you love, the hard things that make you stronger and the trials that build your character. If you are struggling with a porn addiction there are multiple places to find help and accountability programs, fight the new drug is one that has a lot of info and another is x3 groups craig gross.

  11. AvatarI was a sad Guy

    In 2004 I lost a job I had for 25 years, I lost it not for something I did but rather a string of circumstances. I went into a deep depression, started drinking and went to a doctor for anxiety and started taking xanax. ( not a good start to cure depression) I isolated myself in a room and started on porn sites, I went into chat rooms and ended up looking at child porn sent on a distribution list. I realized how bad it was so i deleted the screen name and had never kept an image in my computer. 12 mos later, the depart of homeland security raided my home guns drawn, ransacked my home while my three children were at school and my now ex-wife was waling in the door. They took our computers and found the images on the hard drive. They interviewed everyone I knew, CPS came to our home and everything. They found I had not done anything but look at those images in my emails.

    The feds never charged me but the state of TX did and they gave me a 10 year probation of which I lasted three weeks. ( they wanted me to put a sign on my door saying I was a sex offender) I ended up serving a two year sentence of which I actually did 10 most 28 days and spent the ret of the time on parole.

    I lost all my friends, and family, I was homeless, very depressed and tried to kill myself 6 times. I finally went to MHMRA in Houston and they counseled me back to health. Then I started going to lakewood church in Houston and I started to have a positive thought process again.

    Being a registered sex offender gives me a great deal of shame, we can’t move easily, I can never go back to my old career as corporations don’t hire people like me. Luckily I have started my own company and have been blessed to earn more money then ever, reunited with my children and remarried and have a great child.

    There is hope, there is a way, there is a light, the shame that comes with this is unbearable. People will sometimes google me in my business and I will get rejected. I just have to keep pushing forward and prove to people that I am a good person.

    There are close to 1 million registrants now, we are not all bad people. I give money, and will hire people with backgrounds. Someday I hope to earn enough money to buy small duplexes just for offenders.

    I praise God every day for delivering me from this, Its a struggle but its one I am going to win..

    This will not define who I am, it will establish what I will become.. better, stronger and happier. They won’t win..

    1. Avatarrwvnral

      Thank you for sharing your story. We need more success stories like this. I also think many of us would be interested in knowing the line of work you are in since registrants often find it difficult to find their way into a productive niche. -Robin

    2. Avatarchris

      Can I ask what you do? I can’t find work after 18 years. I work in the health field taking care of seniors. Give me ideas. I am Lost. Bay area is hard place to find job.


  12. AvatarNita

    Laws have to change. The internet is such a wealth of information but also detrimental to those who use it the wrong way. Whether it be curiosity or just because it’s there, they think it’s ok to look at. After what my son has been through, it am starting to think it’s a conspiracy/entrapment by the law enforcement. My son was a straight ‘A’ student. He had never been in trouble before. We lived a few blocks for years from a school. Lost his job and was depressed. He spent a lot of time watching movies, playing video games and was on the wrong websites. Instead of being helped, he was thrown into prison. This “Thought” crime as another referred to is accurate. He is non-violent, it was victimless. The sex offender title needs to be accessed with risk factors. I will be there for him when our laws make it next to impossible to become a productive citizen. No second chances for him which is not right. He was proven guilty of Child porn, nothing more. He made a mistake that he will pay for, for the rest of his life, however long that might be if these laws don’t change.

    1. AvatarCarol

      The same thing happened to my son. He was a minor even he downloaded music from limewire over ten years ago. One of the files had a marked CP file attached. He we barely an adult when he was arrested. He took a plea. Probation and 25 years on the registry. With no job history, it has been impossible to find a decent job. He didn’t leave the house for three years. Can’t even get a job in the trades. He’s lost hope and so have I. I don’t have money for a lawyer and even if I did, he wouldn’t fight the system, because the media would plaster his face all over the news.

    2. Avatarkami

      My son has been sexually active for about 1 year when this happened, he was on probation for being in the wrong house at the wrong time and got probation and community service he broke his probation by not calling and finding someplace to do his community service so she told him well since you wont do that I want you too write a 5 page essay on one of three subjects he has a learning disability writing is one we have been dealing with since first grade……and this person was told but would not listen so on our visit with the probation officer he did not do the report but he did do the community service she got pissed and called him stupid and worthless, I don’t see where this was right for her to do but she did and she sent him to boot camp because of this….. oh my god! To make a long story short he broke probation by leaving the house w/o telling me and when he wasn’t supposed to this particular day he had left the house well when he finally got home I went in and talked to him told him he needed to be serious about his probation or he was going to end up in prison an hour and half later 3 cars pull up and several men get out open the gate and aproach the house and my future ex-husband opens the door and lets them in im thinking WTH! They are arresting my son for rape he’s like WTH?! He hasnt got a clue he asked them rape who?! It just makes me sick my FE-H just leads them in I’ll never forget the look on my sons face hes like what the hell, this little girl lied 3 times to the police they didnt take that in account they just went by he was on probation she screamed rape because he didn’t have a condom they were both 16 and he was guilty before they even talked to him they gave him 2 choices go to court “he was 16” and face time in prison or plea guilty and you’ll be taken and put into DHS custody he spent his 17th birthday in lockup a jail for teens he was attacked their the other boy broke my sons tooth he was there with violent kids who’ve committed crimes far worse than what he was forced into pleading guilty to,he told me what really happened between him and the girl they had sex she was worried because he didnt have a condom then she made them sandwiches and a cold drink… he has over 2000 friends most of which are girls well these little girls were sending pictures of their breasts and other body parts so when he went and talk to his PO they asked for his phone then they charged him with KP kiddy porn and I cant talk to him because I would have to pay $14 to them to talk to him, he is going to have to register as a sex offender and he will probably spend time in prison yes I agree our justice system is broken and this has ruined alot of innocent guys including my son.

    3. Avatarcarlos

      A support system and maybe a new identity and a different country may be the answer after his release. I’m saying this not to be mean but your right, he’ll never get a second chance. The only conciliation is that they r creating a needle in a haystack and Megan’s law is nothing more then a political ploy. I support the concept but the feds and others use it as a means of incarceration, or the mass incarceration we see. I’m sure before this u never gave any of this any thought. Today anyone can find themselves in cell block A. From a former gov’t empoyee

    4. AvatarSandy

      It is entrapment from the government. My husband is serving time because he opened a link the FBI sent him. Thinking it was adult porn he opened a child porn link, which was not marked cp. He deleted it not knowing it was a serious crime for not reporting it. Months later the police came into our home and took our things. It took them almost a year but they did find hard drives. These drives were thrown in the I’ll fix it one day pile. Drives my husband picked out from the neighbor’s trash pile. I know this was true because I was with him when he found them. He knew how to fix computers and loved it if he found computer parts for free. Well it was the smoking gun for the cops. They didn’t care he had picked them up from a neighbor’s trash pile. It was in his possession so my husband was backed into a corner. My husband thinking he would get a fine and then go home pleaded guilty to the link he opened but according to the police he pleaded to all of it. He was basically scared into confession and the police got him where they wanted him. I knew my husband was telling the truth about not knowing what were on those drives because he was the kind if he had known he would’ve destroyed them right away not wait six months for the police to find. Knowing computers like he does he knew the police were capable of pulling up deleted files so it was out of his character to just be a sitting duck in other words if he was really guilty. My husband had no prior record but yet a Texas judge gave him 18 years! Again he was scared into taking the plea being told if he went to trial he would most likely get life. He took the plea. He is able for parole but he has to register as a sex offender and he can’t appeal his charges. In the mean time we lost our house. I’m on government aid because I was a stay at home mom with no college degree to support my two children. Both of my kids had separation and anger issues because one day daddy disappeared. The police and cps made me take my children to be checked out for sexual abuse which they found nothing. It was a nightmare and one I’m afraid will continue once he’s home. My next biggest fear is if he’s paroled out the parole officer can decide if he can or can not live with us as a family . I pray this person will not keep us a part. We’ve suffered enough. The law needs to change. It was a witch hunt I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

    5. AvatarLorrie Bowman

      The same thing is happening to my family right this very moment in time. I’m so scared. My husband is on house arrest at his dads right. We are doing everything we can to price his innocence but it almost seems impossible to do. If you have any suggestions please contact me. My whole world has fallen apart. Our kids are suffering and that’s the worst of it all is watching them go thru this and not knowing of they will ever see their daddy again. We also have a grandbaby on the way. Thank you for sharing your story.

    6. AvatarLynn

      Hi, Mrs, Bowman. Please email me. I can’t believe the unbelievable stuff that is involved in these charges.
      I’m afraid to as my family falls apart. I have no one to discuss these issues with. I’m the wife of a man charged with similar things. What state are you in? Thank you. Lynn

  13. AvatarGlory to God

    As I read all this comments I can`t help but wonder what the heck do they mean by The Land of the Free? I moved to this country 36 years ago, worked my rear end off and payed taxes like every one else, had 3 boys with a German Jewish American guy and had 3 boys which we raised in a none violent environment, loving caring parents that would`ve giving our lives for them. My youngest son who`s 20 got caught with a 16 year old, and after violating every single one of his civil rights, they convinced him to give up his phone which contained pics and videos of cp, he had downloaded when he was 16 and forgot they were there when they transfer all of his contacts and pics into his new phone. He`s 20 with the mind of a 16 year old A+ student, the most caring and lovingchild any parent can ask for. Now we have spent twenties of thousands of dollars to get him out on bail until the government decides he is a criminal and throw him back in jail.
    Seriously??? my two sisters 21 and 23 years old got killed by a drunk driver, he`s now out there walking free, because there wasn`t enough evidence, my sons dads younger brother 23 got killed by a drug addict, he`s now out there walking free because there wasn`t enough evidence,THOSE ARE REAL CRIMES, now they want to put our son in jail for looking at some pics and meeting who he thought was the love of his life??? Seriously??? I cry every day, I think sometimes it`s a nightmare and I will wake up and everything will be alright, but unfortunately it`s real and it`s painful, more than anything I`ve ever have to endure in my life.
    For the first time in my life I`m starting to hate the country I once believed was the best place on the planet.
    Thank you all for sharing your stories and May God Bless us all and gives us the strength and wisdom to understand what HIS plan is for us here on earth.

    1. AvatarJ

      Well said! As an immigrant of 23 years, I 100% agree. The USA is the laughing stock of the world for stupidity such as these laws. Other countries focus on crimes where actual Physical or Financial harm was committed, not this BULLSHIT virtual crime. Where is any Common Sense anymore? You get sent to Prison because you unknowingly caused some psychological harm to another person? How about the harm caused to the person caught and damage to families? Suicides as a result of the shame? THAT is REAL harm. It’s a SICK country that we live in. Go anywhere else in the world. They focus on crimes that cause REAL harm. If the USA really cared about the victims, they would actually use discretion, not just throw everyone caught in Jail or Prison when everyone on Earth knows that the person is NO threat to children. Talk to people that run the Sex Offender programs, they will tell you that out of all the people attending, less than 5% are actually people that we have any reason to worry about. Disgusting place we live in and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. You want Freedom? Move Overseas.

  14. AvatarSeth B

    Just putting feelers out there for info/advice/someone to talk to…

    My partner/fiancé and I are both 29, and on our anniversary this September 16th will mark our seventh year together. One week after that, my smart, beautiful, kind, caring man will have to begin a sentence for possession of CP. We are devastated, but resolute. I stand by him 100%, as do his parents, siblings, and our few friends who know.

    My main concern is for his safety in prison. I know this is isn’t a popular conviction in prison, especially for a gay man. He will be in a low-security prison, his attorney says, because he is very low risk. He has had a multi-session evaluation by a specialist who has reported he is not a risk.

    He lost his job, we had to move, and I’ve often been afraid of the management of our building finding out he lives there as I applied as a single. Before this incident, our lives were very social due to my work, but now we only go to certain places with certain people, and I know even that will be seriously curtailed when he gets out. My only hope is that in five years, laws will have become less draconian.

    I know his family can survive, and I know I can survive without my constant companion for a while, as long as I know I can have him back. I’m just afraid of how to explain his prolonged absence to my own family, as well as our extended social circle, folks from our synagogue, etc.

    My email is if anyone is able to talk about their experience.

    1. AvatarJ

      Seth B,
      I too am facing a similar situation. I self-surrender in a couple weeks. From what i understand, as long as he is placed in a designated sex offender prison, he will be much safer. I hear that up to 60% of the population at some of these prisons are men charged with a sex offense, mostly CP. Hopefully the judge made a recommendation for one of these, though it’s ultimately decided by BOP. I hope this helps. Best wishes.

    2. AvatarB

      I have an immediate family member that got out of prison not more than 6 months ago, it is very safe, they segregate you. I’m sorry that this has happened to your family, it is very hard, but you will get through it.

    3. AvatarNH Registrant

      NOT all prisons segregate those with sex crimes. In NH, I know through personal experience they don’t. I was there for 3 years and the guards used me and my fellow sex crime prisoners as human bait. We were intentionally put into rooms/cells with known troublemakers to see if they would attack us. I was nearly raped with a foreign object once but got away luckily. I still, to this day, have nightmares often about being in prison – and I have been out of prison for many years. It was a horrible, traumatizing existence and I have been diagnosed with PTSD because of it.

      So, please check your specific prison to see if they segregate. NH doesn’t and I don’t think a lot of others do either. They claim it’s too expensive for them to segregate sex crime prisoners – which is an outright lie.

      My advice: keep your nose out of anyone’s business, don’t watch people, don’t look into their rooms when you walk by, and keep to yourself as much as possible – IF you aren’t segregated. In prison, people are just looking for someone to vent their frustrations on. I saw a lot of horribly violent things happen to people in prison. It was a nightmare.

      Just play it safe and keep your head down, but your eyes open while on the inside.

    4. Avatarnelson

      The reality of this myth, it’s driven by a need to keep our jails full and have a slave labor force. Yes, the inmates make and build for the federal gov’t, the military uniforms, road signs, lic. plates and much more. Private corrections stocks r traded on the NYSE. The feds contract w/them and some states do as well, it’s a profitable business. CP is based on emotions not an empiracle study, but it does serve the politician, he/she r hard on crime. After 31 yrs working at 6 diff. joints u learn about our system of injustice, at all levels. Good luck!

    5. I am gay, was convicted of cp in 2010. Went to jail for 5 months and 10 months house arrest. This was by the federal govt. When you go in, the feds don’t tell anyone about your offense! Before going in make up a believable story why you were convicted ex. federal crimes, income tax evasion, pirated dvds, anything concerning fed crimes. study the phoney crimes and be good at it and life will be better, again te feds don’t tell the officers a damn thing and don’t tell them that your gay, it really worked for me. Good luck!,

    6. Avataryaakov

      Don’t worry…he will probably go to a facility where there is 50% so inmates.Just tell him to keep gambling.Chabad rabbis come in ..they helped me through 7 years in Attica.Shalom

  15. AvatarJ. Thomas

    About a week ago, I got that knock on my door. It was the FBI and they were there to execute a search warrant on my residence. I am a diagnosed sex addict. My usage of CP was isolated to less then a dozen instances during a deep depression following my wife leaving me due to my addiction. It was coupled with using chemical substances to numb the pain I was feeling. My addiction to porn took me to a dark place that I never imagined I would be. I have lost the right to see my kids because the FBI informed my ex of the investigatio and confiscated a computer of hers. Luckily for me, I was given good advice by a therapist. I was told to get rid of any device that I had accessed material on. So I did. The computers seized and associated items have no trace of CP on them. I think I’m safe but I worry about two things. Maybe someone could provide me with some input. First, can I be charged and convicted of viewing CP without physical evidence on a computer I own? Can the FBI charge me off of the information they collected through tracing the CP to me? Second, I had viewed non nude underage models on the computer seized at my ex wife’s house. No images were saved but can I be charged and convicted because I viewed this material that is readily available over the common internet? I know I had a problem and went to rehab for my sex and drug addiction. I am a good person, with a good heart who would never hurt anyone. I have a good job and a wonderful new wife that is standing by my side. I am an addict who is trying to recover. What am I in for? I am so stressed and depressed over this. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. AvatarMartin

      It was only a couple of years ago I was in your same position. My best advice at this point is to sit down in a quiet place and slowly breath. Fear will pervade every part of your life if you let it. Fear of the unknown is common among everyone. One of the biggest challenges you will face is gathering valid information about what is ahead of you. While I would love to be able to tell you precisely what is going to happen I cannot. That does not mean I can not give you some insight into what you will experience. I can tell you to get a good attorney if you can afford one. I can also tell you to NOT confide in anyone except your attorney about your story until all court proceedings are complete. Without actual evidence it is unlikely you will spend any prison time. It depends upon what state you are in as to if you receive probation or a short jail sentence. None of this is written in stone. You will go through a pre-sentencing evaluation with a psychologist. If you were using a file sharing program the facts of what and why you were doing it are irrelevant. If you were downloading from a website your membership or tracking cookies may divulge your secrets. Computer forensics have come a very long way. Unless you used some kind of a Hillary Clinton style drive shredder most likely any deleted files will be found. That being said, if it happens do not feel alone. The mere existence of this website should tell you that there are a lot of us out here that have made the same mistake and are paying dearly for it. Society has thrown us all away. Most likely you will be offered some kind of a plea agreement. You will never go to trial. I base this on your statement that you are guilty. Prosecutors have honed their skills on prosecuting CP charges. This is a modern day witch hunt that very few are able to escape once in the cross hairs. Any whisper of evidence will bring you into the cross hairs of a completely irrational court system. It isn’t punishment. It is retribution. Take heart. There are over 850,000 people on registries nation wide. Most have families. The sex offender registries affect family members as well. The number swells to over 3,000,000 people affected when considering families of registrants. You are not alone. There is a huge pile of litigation happening as we speak. A large class action law suit is scheduled to happen this fall in front of the supreme court regarding the constitutionality of registries. We are slowly making headway. To further clarify, it will seem like a long and scary road ahead. You will be threatened with a long prison sentence if you do not accept a plea agreement. If you do choose to go to trial and are found guilty you WILL go to prison. I recommend prayer, church, friends and family. Be honest with them all after court proceedings. Hiding from this will only make things worse for you in the long run. I recommend checking back here frequently. There is almost constant updates and stories from court proceedings at state and federal levels. I also recommend donating to RSOL’s legal fund. Good luck J.

    2. AvatarJeff

      I too am in this situation. I received a call that my house had been broken into and that I needed to come home to figure out what exactly was missing. I told them I was at work but would try to be there in half an hour. They told me to hurry because they wouldn’t be there all day and to call the number they called me from if they weren’t there so they could get an inventory of everything that was missing. I lived in a fairly safe area and didn’t often lock my door so it wasn’t really a surprised that I had been broken into, especially since I recently broke up with a girl who had an addiction to drugs and always had traffic coming in and out of my place until I got her into rehab. By the way, my influence helped her. She has stayed clean now for 4 months and has a full time job as of this writing. Anyway, I came home and they immediately approached me telling me that they were there conducting a search warrant of the premises and had found cp on my computer. They then told me that I didn’t look surprised to find out that information and preceded to ask me if there was anyone else who had used my computer in the last few weeks. I told them my ex girlfriend had and immediately regretted it because they told me “we’ll have to have a talk with her”. I knew she was having a lot of legal trouble due to her addiction and had temporarily lost custody of her kid. I also knew that if I didn’t come clean and tell them everything that I would be getting her involved, not only causing me embarrassment, but also causing her to possibly never get her child back. She was making good head way and I thought this would damage all possibility of that so I decided at that point to come clean. So when they asked me to come in for questioning I came in and sang for them like a pretty little cooperative parrot. They arrested me after questioning and placed me in county jail for holding until my first court appearance. At the court house was where I met my court appointed lawyer because I could not afford one. They released me on electronic monitoring the next day. Let me tell you that I am guilty of downloading it. But I have never touched a child. I have never wanted to touch a child. I am a victim of sexual abuse once at the age of 6 years old which I remember vividly and several times from the age of 8 until about the age of 10. I have had a nightly masturbation routine since the age of 6 because of the abuse. It actually helped me fall asleep because I always had bad dreams if I didn’t do it. The abuse stopped when my family and I moved to a new city at the age of 10. Then I was introduced to pornography which became somewhat of an outlet for me . Then, when I turned 20 I discovered the dark side of the Internet i felt connected to it kinda. I didn’t feel alone anymore. That is why I looked at it. That is why I downloaded and watched it. I deleted it when I found happiness in a relationship. Then the relationship went sour. She left me and I started to watch porn again which ultimately led me back to the dark side again. Please don’t misunderstand though, I never wanted to do anything that I saw happen to those kids to any kids at all and I wish it had never happened to me. It was an outlet and that is all. Getting back to the story, they released me awaiting trial on bond. I was told by my probation officer that I had to tell my boss the situation that was in process and upon hearing my charges I was fired immediately, though I didn’t have a job where I was often around children. His explanation was that he didn’t want me around if his grandfather kids decided to show up for work. Upon this information I went home to commit suicide. My mom came over because she hadn’t heard from me and discovered me. They put me in a mental hospital for a couple weeks where I got better drugs, I was already taking anti depressants, and some limited therapy and they released me where I was back to reporting to my probation officer and awaiting trial or something. My lawyer has a plea bargain of 60 months that he wants me to take. It makes me want to kill myself that much more. I’m not, have never been, and will never be a danger to children, but because of this everyone does and will believe that I am. I am highly educated, very kind and generous, and ultimately a good person, but I am not perfect. No one is. I wish I could turn back the clock on a lot of my life but I can’t. Now I have to deal with the consequences. Or just quit all together. That’s the easy way but I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I also don’t want to hurt anyone with this case. It will hurt my family too. I just don’t know what to do. Its all very confusing and I have difficulty finding any information or anyone to talk to. I can feel my therapist judging me when I talk to her. It feels like she is insinuating that I am a sick pervert. I don’t know what to do at this point. I guess I’ll figure it out as time seeps through the looking glass. Any advice would be a great help. I could deal with 3 years, but 5 seems like too much. Thanks for reading my babble.

    3. AvatarJM

      Good for you that you recognize and are getting help. I do not think (non legal advice) that you can be prosecuted for something you do not have but I will tell you that they will actively and aggressively attempt to cause you to view again. Please get an accountability program for your devices, keep your wife informed if you are feeling the urge to view , good that you recognize it as an addiction and one that can be conquered. My 24 year old son was sentenced to 30 years for his viewing addiction. There were 6 or more agents pretending to be people like him aggressively pursuing him they hit him at a down time of his life where he and his wife were fighting and through those encounters as well as things he said in chat rooms with them and others thats another point NEVER SaY things in chat rooms that can be used against you .. fantasy will be held against you.

  16. AvatarNick

    If you have ever searched for cp but haven’t found anything but also searched explicit porn will you prosecuted?

    1. Avatarrwvnral

      Actionable CP crimes require either possession, production, or distribution. Searching is not a crime….although you might be smart to delete your history.

    2. AvatarAnonymous

      This is not the original commenter.

      But what do you think about ‘attempt’? I’ve heard it’s illegal to attempt to download CP, and heard an example of it involving the FBI giving links to a fake CP site. Would searching that stuff it’s self count as ‘attempt’ or does it require things like knowledge, or something else, etc.?

  17. AvatarThom

    Very well said, this is the mass hysteria witch hunt of our generation. I couldn’t agree more, arrest people hurting people, posting and producing abuse… not solely looking at pics, especially considering the laws are so vaguely written that it’s meaning is left up for the individual to decide. The argument is, looking at the pics is harmful and can facilitate more abuse. If that’s true, why allow violent images online? Why can you watch videos of war atrocities? Couldn’t the same argument be made in both cases? The problem is this is a win-win for politicians and for-profit prisons, and a huge loss for common sense. No politician has ever lost any election for being too tough on c*p*, and putting more people in jail than another other country is good for the for-profit prison system in the U.S. Now, I ask, why not block those sites if they are convinced simply viewing images is harmful in and of itself? Don’t believe for one second they can’t, they could easily, the only issue would then be file sharing sites. Which would be the only sites you’d have to avoid. Why don’t they, simple, it again goes back to the for-profit prisons. Don’t kid yourself, that’s exactly why, and politicians who love easy targets to make themselves look like heroes. I know my comments can easily be dismissed… Except the facts are on my side, if you are just willing to look. We allow 16 year olds in many states to get married (this may come as shock but that means they have sex, I know shocking right), some states even lower the age with parental consent. Tell me how a picture is wrong, but early marriage and sex in those situations is perfectly okay? Simple, it’s not, it only is cause “they” say so. Still not convinced, why does Sally Mann, Jock Sturges and David Hamilton all have such huge success. Why are their images sold legally on Amazon or at your local book store, yet, you search similar images and the government kicks in your door. Again the answer is simple, you (i.e., any average person) likely donesn’t have the financial means to fight them, whereas, they have deep pockets. Let’s not stay silent, fight back, abuse should be prosecuted, looking at images found widely avaiable online isn’t abuse (don’t allow others to conflate the issue). Stand up, fight back, write congress, write the senate, start petitions… It’s not a popular subject, fon’t let others intimidate you, remember nudists view nudity for what it really is, nothing more than a human body. It’s our thoughts that they object to, not our actions, because they are simply coming after us for viewing. Also, it’s easy to see why so many don’t fight back, 1 in 6 girls takes a chasity oath because of parents misguided over protective fears. Abstinence only education is also all over in most every state, and it’s a complete failure. Enough already, fight back!

  18. AvatarThem

    The mass hysteria witch hunt of our generation is our big brother overreaching porn/sexting laws. I couldn’t agree more, we need to arrest people hurting people, posting and producing abuse… not solely looking at pics or what consenting teens do with each other, especially considering the laws are so vaguely written that its meaning is left up for the individual to decide.

    The argument is, looking at underage (under 18) pics is harmful and can facilitate abuse. If that’s true, why allow violent images online? Why can you watch videos of war atrocities? Couldn’t the same argument be made in both cases?

    The problem is this is a win-win for politicians and for-profit prisons, and a huge loss for common sense (as well as a very real physical/emotional loss for people prosecuted). No politician has ever lost any election for being too tough on c*p*, and putting more people in jail than another other country is good for the for-profit prison system in the U.S.

    Now, I ask, why not block those sites if they are convinced simply viewing images is harmful in and of itself? Don’t believe for one second they can’t, they could easily, the only issue would then be file sharing sites. Which would be the only sites you’d have to avoid. Why don’t they, simple, it again goes back to the for-profit prisons. Don’t kid yourself, that’s exactly why, and politicians who love easy targets to make themselves look like heroes.

    I know my comments can easily be dismissed… Except the facts are on my side, if you are just willing to look. We allow 16 year olds in many states to get married (this may come as shock but that means they have sex, I know shocking right), some states even lower the age with parental consent. Tell me how a picture is wrong, but early marriage and sex in those situations is perfectly okay? Simple, it’s not, it only is cause “they” say so.

    Still not convinced, why does Sally Mann, Jock Sturges and David Hamilton all have such huge success. Why are their images sold legally on Amazon or at your local book store, yet, if you search similar images the government kicks in your door? Again the answer is simple, you (i.e., any average person) likely doesn’t have the financial means to fight them, whereas, they have deep pockets.

    Let’s not stay silent, fight back, abuse should be prosecuted, looking at images found widely available online isn’t abuse (don’t allow others to conflate the issue). How would you like the thought police to arrest you for what you watch on TV? Oops, you clicked on and downloaded the wrong TV show, now you go to jail, and your life is ruined.

    Don’t kid yourself, the internet is what TV was 20 years ago to everyone that surfs the web. Stand up, fight back, write congress, write the senate, start petitions… it’s not a popular subject, don’t let others intimidate you, remember nudists view nudity for what it really is, nothing more than a human body. It’s our thoughts that they object to, not our actions, because they are simply coming after us for viewing.

    Also, it’s easy to see why so many don’t fight back, fear of being ostracized by the abstinence only and purity ball movement crowd is very real. Enough already, don’t be afraid anymore, fight back to change the laws! Sexting between teens and simply viewing images (any image) shouldn’t ever be illegal!

    1. Interesting opinion. I would like to ask the question then? Where does it become abusing a child? when viewing pornagraphic images of children you have downloaded and viewing over a period of time? Which must be wrong?

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