What Is Sexual Exploitation of a Minor?

When you’re accused of a serious sex crime, it’s not always easy to recover from those accusations. A conviction can upend your life, hurting you, your family, and your future. When you’re blindsided by sex crime charges, it can be difficult to recover from the impact on your life.

But what is sexual exploitation of a minor, and how can you avoid a conviction for these charges? A lawyer has the answers you need. Learn more about your charges and what your lawyer can do about your case below.

What Does Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Include?

Sexual exploitation of a minor generally refers to the creation, distribution, or possession of child pornography. The severity of these charges depends on the activities you were accused of engaging in. For example, creating these materials is a much more serious felony and may mean more time spent in prison for a conviction. The age of the child may also impact your case and the severity of your charges.

Penalties for Child Pornography Charges

But how serious is a sexual exploitation of a minor conviction? For first-degree offenses, you may face a Class C felony, which comes with severe consequences. You may face a maximum of 231 months, or almost twenty years, in prison.

But your penalties don’t stop there. You may be placed on a sex offender registry, a designation that can impact where you live and work. That criminal record can also impact your family life, as you may lose custody or visitation rights with your children.

If you’re concerned about these penalties, don’t wait for a conviction—talk to your lawyer about your best options to get your case dismissed or your charges reduced.

Defenses to Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Cases dealing with the sexual exploitation of a minor can be difficult to defend, which is why a lawyer is so important to your case. Often, your defense will depend on the details of how your case is handled by law enforcement. For example, if your home was searched without reason or cause, you may have grounds to dispute the evidence brought against you.

But that’s not your only option to defend your case when you’re accused of sexual exploitation of a minor. Your lawyer can look at the details of your case and determine your best opportunity for a defense. Your lawyer can also represent you in the courtroom, helping your case succeed.

Protect Your Future with an Attorney

When you’re accused of a serious crime, waiting and hoping it goes away may only land you in more trouble. The penalties for sexual exploitation of a minor can last a lifetime, leaving you struggling to return to your normal life.

At The Chetson Firm, we understand how difficult building your defense can be. That’s why we’re here to help you prepare that defense and avoid these harsh penalties. Start with a consultation about your charges by texting or calling 919-352-9411 or by completing the online contact form below.

The Kids Say: Lorrin Freeman Should Step Down

Lorrin Freeman is a good person, and I supported her in 2014 when she ran against Boz Zellinger and John Bryant. But I have to say, the Kids are Alright when they call for her resignation. Her handling of the COVID virus in the courthouse and the protests in Raleigh has been deplorable. Her seeking of the death penalty last year in two cases – the black defendant was the only one to be sentenced to death – was horrific. She should step down, say the kids.

Arrests in Twitter Hack

Florida law enforcement has arrested a seventeen-year-old in Florida who they say is the “linchpin” of a hack that resulted in multiple hacked Twitter accounts in July. President Obama, Elon Musk, who himself has been subject to federal investigations for SEC violations, and Joe Biden are among those whose accounts were briefly taken over.

The hackers posted instructions for people to donate Bitcoin, but virtually no one did so and very little money – a paltry $180,000 – was actually stolen. Nonetheless, Twitter and various “blue check” celebrities on it were embarrassed, and so, rather than arrest all the people who have been insider-trading on Donald Trump’s corrupt efforts to fund a cure to the Coronavirus, the FBI felt it was very important to pursue some young computer nerds.

Clark has been charged by Florida prosecutors. Apparently federal charges have been filed against a British teenager and 22-year-old from Orlando.

In a sane world, the FBI would focus scarce resources on pursuing the actual criminals who orchestrated and profited off the destruction of the American economy in 2008, or are doing so again. But in this world, FBI Special Agent John Bennett says things like:

While investigations into cyber breaches can sometimes take years, our investigators were able to bring these hackers into custody in a matter of weeks. Cyber criminals will not find sanctuary behind their keyboards.

Antifa as a Group Sets Up RICO prosecution

Today in his testimony before Congress, Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed through his non-denial denial what we all know: That the Trump administration plans to use the 1970s-era Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to prosecute Antifa.

The Trump Administration has been claiming for years now that Antifa, the loose, largely unconnected-but-similarly-minded people who appear on the streets as part of large protest actions is actually a formal or informal group.

Partly Trump and his Department of Homeland Security have spread the myth of Antifa-as-an-Organization to rally the right-wing base in preparation for the 2018 and now 2020 elections.

But the more sinister aim – whether Trump himself knows this – is to create the legal groundwork to use various criminal and anti-terrorism laws to prosecute people, even those who do even regard themselves as Antifa, for federal crimes. Hence the email released earlier this week in which DHS officials rename alleged “violent” actors as “Violent Antifa Anarchists Inspired (VAAI)” in official reports.

RICO – the 1970s-era act initially drafted to pursue the Italian mob – is the vehicle to do that.

Having just defended at trial in Charlotte a client in October in the largest RICO prosecution in U.S. history, I am intimately familiar with the intricacies of this law and how it makes defense at trial very difficult.

Even though the jury found my client not guilty of agreeing to any murders on behalf of the gang, the only trial victory of any one of the 82 original defendants, the trial itself involved the Government backing up a dump truck of evidence about the Nine-Trey Bloods gang that made my client look awful, even though he was not personally involved in nearly all of it.

That’s what the Government can do in a RICO case. Furthermore, the RICO conspiracy statute doesn’t require that the Government prove that the defendant was a member of Antifa. The Government need only prove that the person “conspired” or agreed with the criminal intent of the group while doing something, however small, in furtherance of that group. Recruiting people into Antifa, even if that were possible, could be construed as committing RICO conspiracy, even if the person did not regard himself or herself as a member of Antifa.

Furthermore, the RICO crime and caselaw convert all statements made as part of the conspiracy into a non-hearsay. So these statements come in even if those statements would otherwise be regarded as hearsay, or subject to the Confrontation Clause. A literal dump truck of evidence can be backed up to a federal courthouse to make a defense of these cases very difficult.

We’re Looking for Your Help!

We need help with not just the protest cases that I’m volunteering to represent, but also general criminal defense work – primarily the death penalty, post conviction case we have, and murders that are appointed by the courts.

This is a criminal defense law firm in Raleigh with a number of pending appointed murders including two potential capital (death penalty cases). We are also working with another lawyer on post-conviction litigation (North Carolina habeas) in a death penalty case from some years ago. We have a need for a law student and future criminal defense lawyer to do real substantive work – review discovery, interview clients, work with experts.

Please only law students who have completed at least one year of law school! We can’t pay a salary.  We can cover parking, lunches, defray costs of travel to locations (jails, crime scenes, etc) so that the clerkship is not a net cost to someone. I’m also COVID-Friendly so we try to keep people safe (by not showing up to my office all the time) and allow them to work remotely although a person must be able to come into the office from time to time or to travel to locations. We use various video conferencing (Zoom) to keep in touch – and the phone. Must be somewhat computer savvy to navigate discovery – video, PDFs, etc. – that we receive from the State or Federal Government. They must be absolutely discreet, and capable of honoring and abiding by court orders that from time to time demand absolutely confidentiality. In addition, they must understand and honor attorney-client privilege rules.

Future criminal defense lawyers only!  Also, please be located in the Wake County area, and please be able to drive to various locations. We had four trials last year (2019) alone – multi-week triple homicide death penalty case in Raleigh (jury rejected the death penalty!), a federal appointed gun case in Elizabeth City where the client was on video shooting a gun at a person at a club (hung jury!), a RICO/murder “Blood” case in federal court in Charlotte (won a “special sentencing factor!”), and a first-degree murder case in Raleigh (hung jury! 10 to 2 voting to acquit!).

Most importantly: someone with a deep commitment to correcting class and racial injustice.  POC and women and LGBT preferred, understanding that we deal with a wide variety of folks from different backgrounds who may disagree with you. People may say things to you that you regard as morally repugnant or beyond the pale. We are looking for people who have the patience to tolerate, ignore, overlook, or forgive peoples’ prejudices, and sometimes repugnant political or moral views.  If you have particular boundaries, please disclose them upfront so that we can see whether we can accommodate them.

Spanish-speaking (fluent) preferred.  While we take COVID-19 precautions and provide masks etc., sometimes we have to go into jails or in places that aren’t well-sanitized. People concerned about Coronavirus or who are immunocompromised may wish to not apply.

Please send a resume and a writing sample to us at dena@chetson.com. Please no phone calls at this time. We will follow-up with candidates who seem like they might fit.

This can be shared.  Thanks for all everyone is doing to speak out about racial, sexual, and class injustice.

Priorities, People

I get the anger over broken windows in downtown Raleigh. I understand that people are upset over property damage. I do not advocate property damage.

But in the list of things to be concerned about, it strikes me that people miss the point if they fixate on broken windows and vandalism, but ignore the larger issues:

  1. Police Brutality has left Black men and women beaten and killed across this country, and in Raleigh.
  2. An economic system that privileges property over people (whatever their color): There is something wrong about a Government that spends billions outfitting civilian police departments in riot gear and military-style armaments, but says it can’t afford to ensure that people have health care, a decent standard of living, and a future for themselves and their kids.
  3. A criminal justice system that, particularly when it comes to drug crimes and fundamentally non-violent crimes, sentences people to cages for years or decades, sometimes in private prisons.

These are the fundamental problems that give rise to what a good friend of mine – and downtown Raleigh shop owner whose store was vandalized – calls the “hopelessness” that results in property destruction. He told me as he cleaned up the glass this week in downtown Raleigh to try to get his store back open – after it’s been closed for two months – that he isn’t angry, but rather sad.

Sad that a system like ours has turned out to be such an utter failure at providing a good life for so many people.[[

[UPDATE: Here I am interviewed on WRAL.]

Double Standards

No adult believes the world is fair. African Americans have been on the blunt end of the American stick for 300 years. Why should it be any different today?

But there’s something amazing the way police have handled the response to yet another police orchestrated murder – what else do you call kneeing for 7 minutes on someone’s neck while he says nearly a dozen times that he can’t breathe. Police have an obligation to de-escalate, to preserve human life, and to mitigate damage to property.

But not modern police forces, which have been trained and equipped as if they were occupying forces. Rather than come out dressed in civilian clothes, they appeared on Raleigh’s streets – many of them – in gas masks, “tactical” gear, and with batons. The same was true in most American cities last night that saw protests.

But that wasn’t true a month ago, when largely white crowds protested the COVID closure like this:

Raleigh Woke Up Today

Raleigh woke up today to broken store windows throughout the downtown district – up and down Fayetteville Street, on Wilmington, and along the side streets. Salisbury looks comparatively untouched. The CVS on the corner of Hargett and Fayetteville was the most thoroughly vandalized. If other stores were looted, I couldn’t really tell.

I was at the protest yesterday afternoon – which was entirely peaceful – and then later was a legal observer as it grew dark. Violence, from whatever corner, is not appropriate. But the violence – the tear gassing of protesters who were, generally speaking, peaceful – from police is quite simply inexcusable. A police force is not a military occupying force. In addition, photographs and video online show tear gassing and pepper spraying of apparently non-violent demonstrators.

Protester Pepper Sprayed by Raleigh Officer

If Mayor Baldwin has something to say about how the police will be held to account, then now would be the time to hear it.

Volunteers are out today cleaning up the broken windows, and removing the graffiti and paint that was thrown on various buildings. That’s good to see. It’s good when people come together as a community.

But coming together as a community means real reform, both as to police violence, criminal justice reform, and economic justice. Durham did not suffer the same fate last night. Is that because it’s a city that has done somewhat more to be inclusive among classes and along racial lines? It’s too early to tell.

But Raleigh is a divided city. When you have thousands of people out of work or underemployed, either because of the virus, or because of the long term effects of class and racial bias, you create the conditions that give rise to protest and disorder.

The solution is not to have a few more wealthy businessmen of color in Raleigh with a stake in the downtown. The solution is a more systematic redistribution of wealth, and a reordering of the economic system that leaves so many people excluded.



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