On behalf of J. Kevin Stockstill, Attorney At Law posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

The laws of the United States contain many provisions dealing with child pornography, including prohibitions on using the internet to acquire, possess and sell such materials. One of the broadest such statutes is the penalty for child exploitation, which makes it illegal to "persuade, induce, entice or coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purposes of producing visual depictions of that conduct." Four Louisiana men have recently been accused of violating this statute.

One of the men, a resident of New Orleans, was previously convicted of possession of child pornography. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security who searched his residence in connection with the recent arrest say that they seized a laptop computer, thumb drives and cell phones containing images of the "sexual exploitation of pre-pubescent children." The man's arrest was the product of a joint investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office and various state law enforcement agencies as part of Project Safe Childhood, a joint initiative aimed at combatting and preventing child exploitation and abuse.

A man from Metarie was arrested and charged with 37 counts of indecent behavior with juveniles. A third man was arrested based on evidence acquired in a joint investigation by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation, the local sheriff and the Department of Homeland Security. A fourth man was arrested and charged with nine counts of pornography involving juveniles.

The criminal charges faced by these four men are very serious. Conviction could result in a heavy fine and years of incarceration. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult a lawyer who handles federal criminal cases. Such a consultation can provide a useful analysis of the facts and law of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, "4 men from Louisiana accused of child exploitation," Emily Lane, Jan. 27, 2017