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The Severity of Child Pornography Charges - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

The Severity of Child Pornography Charges

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    The Moorhead Police Department is investigating a criminal sexual act between a 15-year-old girl and two Lincoln Stars hockey players. A cell phone video that recording the sexual act is now circulating
    The Moorhead Police Department is investigating a criminal sexual act between a 15-year-old girl and two Lincoln Stars hockey players. A cell phone video that recording the sexual act is now circulating

 

News of an underage cell phone sex video has stirred up quite a bit of reaction around the community. On Tuesday, Valley News Live learned of an investigation by Moorhead Police into two 18-year-old minor league hockey players from Lincoln, Nebraska after a 10-second video was recorded on their phones and passed around among other players. The problem is, the girl involved was only 15 and that may constitute child pornography.

Gail Nelson, a counselor in Fargo, says too many people run a risk with the "sexting" trend.

"It's pornography, and it's becoming so common place. I guess that's the thing that worries me the most," she said after hearing about the video.

Nelson says teens should take a moment to consider the personal effects of becoming involved such a video. She says the decision can have monumental effects on a person's value system and self-esteem.

"Have they really thought that through? Is it really how you want to portray yourself or be known among your friends?" She wonders.

But if that's not convincing enough, consider the legal ramifications.

"Production of child pornography is arguable the most severe sanction, and then dissemination is perhaps not quite as severe in the eyes of the federal law. Then, possession of child pornography is also a federal offense," Kyle Loven, a spokesperson with the FBI, explained.

The State of Minnesota prosecutes a first offense for possession of child pornography at five years in prison and $5,000 fine. Sharing child pornography can mean seven years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Producing those images could put you away for ten years and cost you $20,000.
If an 18-year-old was found guilty on each charge, that person could possibly face 22 years in prison, get out at the age of 40, then register as a sex offender for life.

"It surprises me that people take it so casually," Nelson said.

Now, she believes we can do better and she offers some advice to parents on how to get there.

"Talk through all the parties," she said. "What would you do if you were the girl? What would you do if you were those guys? What if you were the guy taking the video?"

One more thing: ask yourself if a 10 second video is worth the life ahead of you.

Charges have not been filed on any of the players involved in the investigation. 

It is possible for anyone who has a copy of the cell phone video, whether wanted or not, to face consequences as well. 

According to the police affidavit, one of the players deleted the video from his phone but, after seizing the phone with a search warrant, police are still able to extract the footage.

 

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