In Milwaukee and elsewhere, Internet crimes are taken seriously and carry significant penalties. Defendants charged with an Internet offense like possession and distribution of child pornography face the same penalties as individuals who commit sex crimes unrelated to the Internet. Defendants should be aware of the possible defenses that may apply to their case; certain defenses may reduce penalties associated with an Internet crime. Recently, a Milwaukee man faces severe penalties after being charged with possession of child pornography.
A man was back in court after police say he took pictures of his friend's minor aged daughter. According to police, pictures were found on his computer after investigators tracked the man down through the man's online identity in an international sting focused on child pornography. The man has been charged with possession of child pornography and first-degree child assault.
A defense that may apply to cases such as the one above is an entrapment defense. An entrapment defense is often used in situations involving government sting operations. The defense applies when a government representative causes a defendant to commit a crime. Sometimes, a defendant may have committed an offense, but it is not as serious as the offense he or she is charged with. In some cases, a defendant facing an Internet sex crime unknowingly downloaded a file that contained illegal material.
Defendants like the Milwaukee man above who are charged with a sex Internet crime like possession of child pornography face penalties such as registration on the state's sex offender registry. Also, the media tend to harshly and publicly scrutinize the accused. These penalties can affect the lives of defendants and their loved ones in the long term, so defendants should be aware of the possible defenses that may apply to their case to reduce these severe penalties.
Source: CBS 58 News, "Child pornography suspect in court," Laura Matovina, Dec. 20, 2012