All Agencies, Latest Month All Agencies, Current FY Geographic Distribution
of Convictions for
All Agencies, FY 2014
20 Prosecutions
in June 2014
240 Prosecutions
in Fiscal Year 2014
16 Convictions
in June 2014
194 Convictions
in Fiscal Year 2014

CITE

    18 USC Sec. 2251                                            01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 110 - SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND OTHER ABUSE OF CHILDREN

HEAD

    Sec. 2251. Sexual exploitation of children

STATUTE

      (a) Any person who employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or
    coerces any minor to engage in, or who has a minor assist any other
    person to engage in, or who transports any minor in or affecting
    interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession
    of the United States, with the intent that such minor engage in,
    any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any
    visual depiction of such conduct or for the purpose of transmitting
    a live visual depiction of such conduct, shall be punished as
    provided under subsection (e), if such person knows or has reason
    to know that such visual depiction will be transported or
    transmitted using any means or facility of interstate or foreign
    commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or
    mailed, if that visual depiction was produced or transmitted using
    materials that have been mailed, shipped, or transported in or
    affecting interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including by
    computer, or if such visual depiction has actually been transported
    or transmitted using any means or facility of interstate or foreign
    commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or
    mailed.
      (b) Any parent, legal guardian, or person having custody or
    control of a minor who knowingly permits such minor to engage in,
    or to assist any other person to engage in, sexually explicit
    conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such
    conduct or for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction
    of such conduct shall be punished as provided under subsection (e)
    of this section, if such parent, legal guardian, or person knows or
    has reason to know that such visual depiction will be transported
    or transmitted using any means or facility of interstate or foreign
    commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or
    mailed, if that visual depiction was produced or transmitted using
    materials that have been mailed, shipped, or transported in or
    affecting interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including by
    computer, or if such visual depiction has actually been transported
    or transmitted using any means or facility of interstate or foreign
    commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or
    mailed.
      (c)(1) Any person who, in a circumstance described in paragraph
    (2), employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any
    minor to engage in, or who has a minor assist any other person to
    engage in, any sexually explicit conduct outside of the United
    States, its territories or possessions, for the purpose of
    producing any visual depiction of such conduct, shall be punished
    as provided under subsection (e).
      (2) The circumstance referred to in paragraph (1) is that -
        (A) the person intends such visual depiction to be transported
      to the United States, its territories or possessions, by any
      means, including by using any means or facility of interstate or
      foreign commerce or mail; or
        (B) the person transports such visual depiction to the United
      States, its territories or possessions, by any means, including
      by using any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce
      or mail.
      (d)(1) Any person who, in a circumstance described in paragraph
    (2), knowingly makes, prints, or publishes, or causes to be made,
    printed, or published, any notice or advertisement seeking or
    offering -
        (A) to receive, exchange, buy, produce, display, distribute, or
      reproduce, any visual depiction, if the production of such visual
      depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually
      explicit conduct and such visual depiction is of such conduct; or
        (B) participation in any act of sexually explicit conduct by or
      with any minor for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of
      such conduct;
    shall be punished as provided under subsection (e).
      (2) The circumstance referred to in paragraph (1) is that -
        (A) such person knows or has reason to know that such notice or
      advertisement will be transported using any means or facility of
      interstate or foreign commerce or in or affecting interstate or
      foreign commerce by any means including by computer or mailed; or
        (B) such notice or advertisement is transported using any means
      or facility of interstate or foreign commerce or in or affecting
      interstate or foreign commerce by any means including by computer
      or mailed.
      (e) Any individual who violates, or attempts or conspires to
    violate, this section shall be fined under this title and
    imprisoned not less than 15 years nor more than 30 years, but if
    such person has one prior conviction under this chapter, section
    1591, chapter 71, chapter 109A, or chapter 117, or under section
    920 of title 10 (article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military
    Justice), or under the laws of any State relating to aggravated
    sexual abuse, sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact involving a
    minor or ward, or sex trafficking of children, or the production,
    possession, receipt, mailing, sale, distribution, shipment, or
    transportation of child pornography, such person shall be fined
    under this title and imprisoned for not less than 25 years nor more
    than 50 years, but if such person has 2 or more prior convictions
    under this chapter, chapter 71, chapter 109A, or chapter 117, or
    under section 920 of title 10 (article 120 of the Uniform Code of
    Military Justice), or under the laws of any State relating to the
    sexual exploitation of children, such person shall be fined under
    this title and imprisoned not less than 35 years nor more than
    life. Any organization that violates, or attempts or conspires to
    violate, this section shall be fined under this title. Whoever, in
    the course of an offense under this section, engages in conduct
    that results in the death of a person, shall be punished by death
    or imprisoned for not less than 30 years or for life.

SOURCE

    (Added Pub. L. 95-225, Sec. 2(a), Feb. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 7; amended
    Pub. L. 98-292, Sec. 3, May 21, 1984, 98 Stat. 204; Pub. L. 99-500,
    Sec. 101(b) [title VII, Sec. 704(a)], Oct. 18, 1986, 100 Stat. 1783-
    39, 1783-75, and Pub. L. 99-591, Sec. 101(b) [title VII, Sec.
    704(a)], Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3341-39, 3341-75; Pub. L. 99-628,
    Secs. 2, 3, Nov. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 3510; Pub. L. 100-690, title
    VII, Sec. 7511(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4485; Pub. L. 101-647,
    title XXXV, Sec. 3563, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4928; Pub. L. 103-
    322, title VI, Sec. 60011, title XVI, Sec. 160001(b)(2), (c), (e),
    title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(S)-(U), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat.
    1973, 2037, 2148; Pub. L. 104-208, div. A, title I, Sec. 101(a)
    [title I, Sec. 121[4]], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009, 3009-26,
    3009-30; Pub. L. 105-314, title II, Sec. 201, Oct. 30, 1998, 112
    Stat. 2977; Pub. L. 108-21, title I, Sec. 103(a)(1)(A), (b)(1)(A),
    title V, Secs. 506, 507, Apr. 30, 2003, 117 Stat. 652, 653, 683;
    Pub. L. 109-248, title II, Sec. 206(b)(1), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat.
    614; Pub. L. 110-358, title I, Sec. 103(a)(1), (b), Oct. 8, 2008,
    122 Stat. 4002, 4003; Pub. L. 110-401, title III, Sec. 301, Oct.
    13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4242.)

CODIFICATION

      Pub. L. 99-591 is a corrected version of Pub. L. 99-500.

AMENDMENTS

      2008 - Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 110-401 inserted "or for the
    purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct"
    after "for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such
    conduct" and "or transmitted" after "will be transported", after
    "was produced", and after "has actually been transported".
      Pub. L. 110-358, Sec. 103(a)(1)(A), (B), (b), inserted "using any
    means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce or" after "be
    transported" and after "been transported" and substituted "in or
    affecting interstate" for "in interstate" wherever appearing.
      Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 110-358, Sec. 103(a)(1)(C), substituted
    "using any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce" for
    "computer" in subpars. (A) and (B).
      Subsec. (d)(2)(A). Pub. L. 110-358, Sec. 103(a)(1)(A), (b),
    inserted "using any means or facility of interstate or foreign
    commerce or" after "be transported" and substituted "in or
    affecting interstate" for "in interstate".
      Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 110-358, Sec. 103(a)(1)(D), (b),
    inserted "using any means or facility of interstate or foreign
    commerce or" after "is transported" and substituted "in or
    affecting interstate" for "in interstate".
      2006 - Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109-248 inserted "section 1591,"
    after "one prior conviction under this chapter," and substituted
    "aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact
    involving a minor or ward, or sex trafficking of children, or the
    production, possession, receipt, mailing, sale, distribution,
    shipment, or transportation of child pornography" for "the sexual
    exploitation of children" and "not less than 30 years or for life"
    for "any term of years or for life".
      2003 - Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 108-21, Sec. 506(1),
    substituted "subsection (e)" for "subsection (d)".
      Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108-21, Sec. 506(3), added subsec. (c).
    Former subsec. (c) redesignated (d).
      Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 108-21, Sec. 506(1), substituted
    "subsection (e)" for "subsection (d)" in concluding provisions.
      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 108-21, Sec. 506(2), redesignated subsec.
    (c) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).
      Pub. L. 108-21, Sec. 103(a)(1)(A), (b)(1)(A), substituted "and
    imprisoned not less than 15" for "or imprisoned not less than 10",
    "30 years" for "20 years", "25 years" for "15 years", "more than 50
    years" for "more than 30 years", and "35 years nor more than life"
    for "30 years nor more than life", and struck out "and both,"
    before "but if such person has one".
      Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108-21, Sec. 507, inserted "chapter 71,"
    before "chapter 109A," in two places and "or under section 920 of
    title 10 (article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice),"
    before "or under the laws" in two places.
      Pub. L. 108-21, Sec. 506(2), redesignated subsec. (d) as (e).
      1998 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105-314, Sec. 201(a), inserted "if
    that visual depiction was produced using materials that have been
    mailed, shipped, or transported in interstate or foreign commerce
    by any means, including by computer," before "or if".
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 105-314, Sec. 201(b), inserted ", if that
    visual depiction was produced using materials that have been
    mailed, shipped, or transported in interstate or foreign commerce
    by any means, including by computer," before "or if".
      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 105-314, Sec. 201(c), substituted ", chapter
    109A, or chapter 117" for "or chapter 109A" in two places.
      1996 - Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104-208 amended subsec. (d)
    generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: "Any
    individual who violates, or attempts or conspires to violate, this
    section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than
    10 years, or both, but, if such individual has a prior conviction
    under this chapter or chapter 109A, such individual shall be fined
    under this title, imprisoned not less than five years nor more than
    15 years, or both. Any organization which violates, or attempts or
    conspires to violate, this section shall be fined under this title.
    Whoever, in the course of an offense under this section, engages in
    conduct that results in the death of a person, shall be punished by
    death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life."
      1994 - Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(S)-(U), which directed the
    amendment of this section by substituting "under this title" for
    "not more than $100,000", "not more than $200,000", and "not more
    than $250,000", could not be executed because those phrases did not
    appear in text subsequent to amendment of subsec. (d) by Pub. L.
    103-322, Sec. 160001(b)(2). See below.
      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 160001(e), inserted ", or
    attempts or conspires to violate," after "violates" in two places.
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 160001(c), substituted "conviction under
    this chapter or chapter 109A" for "conviction under this section".
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 160001(b)(2)(C), substituted "fined under
    this title" for "fined not more than $250,000" in penultimate
    sentence.
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 160001(b)(2)(B), substituted "fined under
    this title," for "fined not more than $200,000, or" before
    "imprisoned not less than five years".
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 160001(b)(2)(A), substituted "fined under
    this title," for "fined not more than $100,000, or" before
    "imprisoned not more than 10 years".
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 60011, inserted at end "Whoever, in the
    course of an offense under this section, engages in conduct that
    results in the death of a person, shall be punished by death or
    imprisoned for any term of years or for life."
      1990 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101-647 substituted "person to engage
    in," for "person to engage in,,".
      1988 - Subsec. (c)(2)(A), (B). Pub. L. 100-690 inserted "by any
    means including by computer" after "commerce".
      1986 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99-628, Secs. 2(1), (3), inserted ",
    or who transports any minor in interstate or foreign commerce, or
    in any Territory or Possession of the United States, with the
    intent that such minor engage in," after "assist any other person
    to engage in," and substituted "subsection (d)" for "subsection
    (c)".
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99-628, Sec. 2(2), substituted "subsection
    (d)" for "subsection (c)".
      Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 99-628, Sec. 2(3), (4), added subsec.
    (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).
      Pub. L. 99-500 and Pub. L. 99-591 substituted "five years" for
    "two years" in subsec. (c).
      1984 - Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 98-292, Sec. 3(1), (2),
    substituted "visual depiction" for "visual or print medium" in
    three places and substituted "of" for "depicting" before "such
    conduct".
      Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98-292, Sec. 3(3)-(6), substituted
    "individual" for "person" in three places, "$100,000" for
    "$10,000", and "$200,000" for "$15,000", and inserted "Any
    organization which violates this section shall be fined not more
    than $250,000."
                       SHORT TITLE OF 2006 AMENDMENT
      Pub. L. 109-248, title VII, Sec. 707(a), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat.
    650, provided that: "This section [amending section 2255 of this
    title] may be cited as 'Masha's Law'."
                       SHORT TITLE OF 1996 AMENDMENT
      Section 101(a) [title I, Sec. 121] of div. A of Pub. L. 104-208
    provided in part that: "This section [enacting section 2252A of
    this title, amending this section, sections 2241, 2243, 2252, and
    2256 of this title, and section 2000aa of Title 42, The Public
    Health and Welfare, and enacting provisions set out as notes under
    this section and section 2241 of this title] may be cited as the
    'Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996'."
                       SHORT TITLE OF 1990 AMENDMENT
      Section 301(a) of title III of Pub. L. 101-647 provided that:
    "This title [amending sections 1460, 2243, 2252, and 2257 of this
    title and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 2257
    of this title and section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial
    Procedure] may be cited as the 'Child Protection Restoration and
    Penalties Enhancement Act of 1990'."
                       SHORT TITLE OF 1988 AMENDMENT
      Section 7501 of title VII of Pub. L. 100-690 provided that: "This
    subtitle [subtitle N (Secs. 7501-7526) of title VII of Pub. L. 100-
    690, enacting sections 1460, 1466 to 1469, 2251A, and 2257 of this
    title, amending this section, sections 1465, 1961, 2252 to 2254,
    2256, and 2516 of this title, section 1305 of Title 19, Customs
    Duties, and section 223 of Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and
    Radiotelegraphs, and enacting provisions set out as a note under
    section 2257 of this title] may be cited as the 'Child Protection
    and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988'."
                      SHORT TITLE OF 1986 AMENDMENTS
      Section 1 of Pub. L. 99-628 provided that: "This Act [enacting
    sections 2421 to 2423 of this title, amending this section and
    sections 2255 and 2424 of this title, and repealing former sections
    2421 to 2423 of this title] may be cited as the 'Child Sexual Abuse
    and Pornography Act of 1986'."
      Section 101(b) [title VII, Sec. 701] of Pub. L. 99-500 and Pub.
    L. 99-591 provided that: "This title [enacting section 2255 of this
    title, amending this section and section 2252 of this title,
    redesignating former section 2255 of this title as 2256, and
    enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] may be
    cited as the 'Child Abuse Victims' Rights Act of 1986'."
                       SHORT TITLE OF 1984 AMENDMENT
      Section 1 of Pub. L. 98-292 provided: "That this Act [enacting
    sections 2253 and 2254 of this title, amending this section and
    sections 2252, 2255, and 2516 of this title, and enacting
    provisions set out as notes under this section and section 522 of
    Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] may be cited as the
    'Child Protection Act of 1984'."
                                SHORT TITLE
      Section 1 of Pub. L. 95-225 provided: "That this Act [enacting
    this chapter and amending section 2423 of this title] may be cited
    as the 'Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act of
    1977'."
                               SEVERABILITY
      Pub. L. 110-401, title V, Sec. 503, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat.
    4252, provided that: "If any provision of this title [enacting
    sections 2258A to 2258E of this title, amending section 2702 of
    this title, and repealing section 13032 of Title 42, The Public
    Health and Welfare] or amendment made by this title is held to be
    unconstitutional, the remainder of the provisions of this title or
    amendments made by this title -
        "(1) shall remain in full force and effect; and
        "(2) shall not be affected by the holding."
      Section 101(a) [title I, Sec. 121[8]] of Pub. L. 104-208 provided
    that: "If any provision of this Act [probably means section 121 of
    Pub. L. 104-208, div. A, title I, Sec. 101(a), see Short Title of
    1996 Amendment note above], including any provision or section of
    the definition of the term child pornography, an amendment made by
    this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any
    person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the
    remainder of this Act, including any other provision or section of
    the definition of the term child pornography, the amendments made
    by this Act, and the application of such to any other person or
    circumstance shall not be affected thereby."
      Section 4 of Pub. L. 95-225 provided that: "If any provision of
    this Act [see Short Title note set out above] or the application
    thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the
    remainder of the Act and the application of the provision to other
    persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not
    be affected thereby."
                          CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS
      Pub. L. 110-358, title I, Sec. 102, Oct. 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 4001,
    provided that: "Congress finds the following:
        "(1) Child pornography is estimated to be a multibillion dollar
      industry of global proportions, facilitated by the growth of the
      Internet.
        "(2) Data has shown that 83 percent of child pornography
      possessors had images of children younger than 12 years old, 39
      percent had images of children younger than 6 years old, and 19
      percent had images of children younger than 3 years old.
        "(3) Child pornography is a permanent record of a child's abuse
      and the distribution of child pornography images revictimizes the
      child each time the image is viewed.
        "(4) Child pornography is readily available through virtually
      every Internet technology, including Web sites, email, instant
      messaging, Internet Relay Chat, newsgroups, bulletin boards, and
      peer-to-peer.
        "(5) The technological ease, lack of expense, and anonymity in
      obtaining and distributing child pornography over the Internet
      has resulted in an explosion in the multijurisdictional
      distribution of child pornography.
        "(6) The Internet is well recognized as a method of
      distributing goods and services across State lines.
        "(7) The transmission of child pornography using the Internet
      constitutes transportation in interstate commerce."
      Pub. L. 109-248, title V, Sec. 501, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 623,
    provided that: "Congress makes the following findings:
        "(1) The effect of the intrastate production, transportation,
      distribution, receipt, advertising, and possession of child
      pornography on the interstate market in child pornography:
          "(A) The illegal production, transportation, distribution,
        receipt, advertising and possession of child pornography, as
        defined in section 2256(8) of title 18, United States Code, as
        well as the transfer of custody of children for the production
        of child pornography, is harmful to the physiological,
        emotional, and mental health of the children depicted in child
        pornography and has a substantial and detrimental effect on
        society as a whole.
          "(B) A substantial interstate market in child pornography
        exists, including not only a multimillion dollar industry, but
        also a nationwide network of individuals openly advertising
        their desire to exploit children and to traffic in child
        pornography. Many of these individuals distribute child
        pornography with the expectation of receiving other child
        pornography in return.
          "(C) The interstate market in child pornography is carried on
        to a substantial extent through the mails and other
        instrumentalities of interstate and foreign commerce, such as
        the Internet. The advent of the Internet has greatly increased
        the ease of transporting, distributing, receiving, and
        advertising child pornography in interstate commerce. The
        advent of digital cameras and digital video cameras, as well as
        videotape cameras, has greatly increased the ease of producing
        child pornography. The advent of inexpensive computer equipment
        with the capacity to store large numbers of digital images of
        child pornography has greatly increased the ease of possessing
        child pornography. Taken together, these technological advances
        have had the unfortunate result of greatly increasing the
        interstate market in child pornography.
          "(D) Intrastate incidents of production, transportation,
        distribution, receipt, advertising, and possession of child
        pornography, as well as the transfer of custody of children for
        the production of child pornography, have a substantial and
        direct effect upon interstate commerce because:
            "(i) Some persons engaged in the production,
          transportation, distribution, receipt, advertising, and
          possession of child pornography conduct such activities
          entirely within the boundaries of one state. These persons
          are unlikely to be content with the amount of child
          pornography they produce, transport, distribute, receive,
          advertise, or possess. These persons are therefore likely to
          enter the interstate market in child pornography in search of
          additional child pornography, thereby stimulating demand in
          the interstate market in child pornography.
            "(ii) When the persons described in subparagraph (D)(i)
          enter the interstate market in search of additional child
          pornography, they are likely to distribute the child
          pornography they already produce, transport, distribute,
          receive, advertise, or possess to persons who will distribute
          additional child pornography to them, thereby stimulating
          supply in the interstate market in child pornography.
            "(iii) Much of the child pornography that supplies the
          interstate market in child pornography is produced entirely
          within the boundaries of one state, is not traceable, and
          enters the interstate market surreptitiously. This child
          pornography supports demand in the interstate market in child
          pornography and is essential to its existence.
          "(E) Prohibiting the intrastate production, transportation,
        distribution, receipt, advertising, and possession of child
        pornography, as well as the intrastate transfer of custody of
        children for the production of child pornography, will cause
        some persons engaged in such intrastate activities to cease all
        such activities, thereby reducing both supply and demand in the
        interstate market for child pornography.
          "(F) Federal control of the intrastate incidents of the
        production, transportation, distribution, receipt, advertising,
        and possession of child pornography, as well as the intrastate
        transfer of children for the production of child pornography,
        is essential to the effective control of the interstate market
        in child pornography.
        "(2) The importance of protecting children from repeat
      exploitation in child pornography:
          "(A) The vast majority of child pornography prosecutions
        today involve images contained on computer hard drives,
        computer disks, and related media.
          "(B) Child pornography is not entitled to protection under
        the First Amendment and thus may be prohibited.
          "(C) The government has a compelling State interest in
        protecting children from those who sexually exploit them, and
        this interest extends to stamping out the vice of child
        pornography at all levels in the distribution chain.
          "(D) Every instance of viewing images of child pornography
        represents a renewed violation of the privacy of the victims
        and a repetition of their abuse.
          "(E) Child pornography constitutes prima facie contraband,
        and as such should not be distributed to, or copied by, child
        pornography defendants or their attorneys.
          "(F) It is imperative to prohibit the reproduction of child
        pornography in criminal cases so as to avoid repeated violation
        and abuse of victims, so long as the government makes
        reasonable accommodations for the inspection, viewing, and
        examination of such material for the purposes of mounting a
        criminal defense."
      Pub. L. 108-21, title V, Sec. 501, Apr. 30, 2003, 117 Stat. 676,
    provided that: "Congress finds the following:
        "(1) Obscenity and child pornography are not entitled to
      protection under the First Amendment under Miller v. California,
      413 U.S. 15 (1973) (obscenity), or New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S.
      747 (1982) (child pornography) and thus may be prohibited.
        "(2) The Government has a compelling state interest in
      protecting children from those who sexually exploit them,
      including both child molesters and child pornographers. 'The
      prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of children
      constitutes a government objective of surpassing importance,' New
      York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 757 (1982), and this interest
      extends to stamping out the vice of child pornography at all
      levels in the distribution chain. Osborne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 103,
      110 (1990).
        "(3) The Government thus has a compelling interest in ensuring
      that the criminal prohibitions against child pornography remain
      enforceable and effective. 'The most expeditious if not the only
      practical method of law enforcement may be to dry up the market
      for this material by imposing severe criminal penalties on
      persons selling, advertising, or otherwise promoting the
      product.' Ferber, 458 U.S. at 760.
        "(4) In 1982, when the Supreme Court decided Ferber, the
      technology did not exist to -
          "(A) computer generate depictions of children that are
        indistinguishable from depictions of real children;
          "(B) use parts of images of real children to create a
        composite image that is unidentifiable as a particular child
        and in a way that prevents even an expert from concluding that
        parts of images of real children were used; or
          "(C) disguise pictures of real children being abused by
        making the image look computer-generated.
        "(5) Evidence submitted to the Congress, including from the
      National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, demonstrates
      that technology already exists to disguise depictions of real
      children to make them unidentifiable and to make depictions of
      real children appear computer-generated. The technology will soon
      exist, if it does not already, to computer generate realistic
      images of children.
        "(6) The vast majority of child pornography prosecutions today
      involve images contained on computer hard drives, computer disks,
      and/or related media.
        "(7) There is no substantial evidence that any of the child
      pornography images being trafficked today were made other than by
      the abuse of real children. Nevertheless, technological advances
      since Ferber have led many criminal defendants to suggest that
      the images of child pornography they possess are not those of
      real children, insisting that the government prove beyond a
      reasonable doubt that the images are not computer-generated. Such
      challenges increased significantly after the decision in Ashcroft
      v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002).
        "(8) Child pornography circulating on the Internet has, by
      definition, been digitally uploaded or scanned into computers and
      has been transferred over the Internet, often in different file
      formats, from trafficker to trafficker. An image seized from a
      collector of child pornography is rarely a first-generation
      product, and the retransmission of images can alter the image so
      as to make it difficult for even an expert conclusively to opine
      that a particular image depicts a real child. If the original
      image has been scanned from a paper version into a digital
      format, this task can be even harder since proper forensic
      assessment may depend on the quality of the image scanned and the
      tools used to scan it.
        "(9) The impact of the Free Speech Coalition decision on the
      Government's ability to prosecute child pornography offenders is
      already evident. The Ninth Circuit has seen a significant adverse
      effect on prosecutions since the 1999 Ninth Circuit Court of
      Appeals decision in Free Speech Coalition. After that decision,
      prosecutions generally have been brought in the Ninth Circuit
      only in the most clear-cut cases in which the government can
      specifically identify the child in the depiction or otherwise
      identify the origin of the image. This is a fraction of
      meritorious child pornography cases. The National Center for
      Missing and Exploited Children testified that, in light of the
      Supreme Court's affirmation of the Ninth Circuit decision,
      prosecutors in various parts of the country have expressed
      concern about the continued viability of previously indicted
      cases as well as declined potentially meritorious prosecutions.
        "(10) Since the Supreme Court's decision in Free Speech
      Coalition, defendants in child pornography cases have almost
      universally raised the contention that the images in question
      could be virtual, thereby requiring the government, in nearly
      every child pornography prosecution, to find proof that the child
      is real. Some of these defense efforts have already been
      successful. In addition, the number of prosecutions being brought
      has been significantly and adversely affected as the resources
      required to be dedicated to each child pornography case now are
      significantly higher than ever before.
        "(11) Leading experts agree that, to the extent that the
      technology exists to computer generate realistic images of child
      pornography, the cost in terms of time, money, and expertise is -
      and for the foreseeable future will remain - prohibitively
      expensive. As a result, for the foreseeable future, it will be
      more cost-effective to produce child pornography using real
      children. It will not, however, be difficult or expensive to use
      readily available technology to disguise those depictions of real
      children to make them unidentifiable or to make them appear
      computer-generated.
        "(12) Child pornography results from the abuse of real children
      by sex offenders; the production of child pornography is a
      byproduct of, and not the primary reason for, the sexual abuse of
      children. There is no evidence that the future development of
      easy and inexpensive means of computer generating realistic
      images of children would stop or even reduce the sexual abuse of
      real children or the practice of visually recording that abuse.
        "(13) In the absence of congressional action, the difficulties
      in enforcing the child pornography laws will continue to grow
      increasingly worse. The mere prospect that the technology exists
      to create composite or computer-generated depictions that are
      indistinguishable from depictions of real children will allow
      defendants who possess images of real children to escape
      prosecution; for it threatens to create a reasonable doubt in
      every case of computer images even when a real child was abused.
      This threatens to render child pornography laws that protect real
      children unenforceable. Moreover, imposing an additional
      requirement that the Government prove beyond a reasonable doubt
      that the defendant knew that the image was in fact a real child -
      as some courts have done - threatens to result in the de facto
      legalization of the possession, receipt, and distribution of
      child pornography for all except the original producers of the
      material.
        "(14) To avoid this grave threat to the Government's
      unquestioned compelling interest in effective enforcement of the
      child pornography laws that protect real children, a statute must
      be adopted that prohibits a narrowly-defined subcategory of
      images.
        "(15) The Supreme Court's 1982 Ferber v. New York decision
      holding that child pornography was not protected drove child
      pornography off the shelves of adult bookstores. Congressional
      action is necessary now to ensure that open and notorious
      trafficking in such materials does not reappear, and even
      increase, on the Internet."
      Section 101(a) [title I, Sec. 121[1]] of Pub. L. 104-208 provided
    that: "Congress finds that -
        "(1) the use of children in the production of sexually explicit
      material, including photographs, films, videos, computer images,
      and other visual depictions, is a form of sexual abuse which can
      result in physical or psychological harm, or both, to the
      children involved;
        "(2) where children are used in its production, child
      pornography permanently records the victim's abuse, and its
      continued existence causes the child victims of sexual abuse
      continuing harm by haunting those children in future years;
        "(3) child pornography is often used as part of a method of
      seducing other children into sexual activity; a child who is
      reluctant to engage in sexual activity with an adult, or to pose
      for sexually explicit photographs, can sometimes be convinced by
      viewing depictions of other children 'having fun' participating
      in such activity;
        "(4) child pornography is often used by pedophiles and child
      sexual abusers to stimulate and whet their own sexual appetites,
      and as a model for sexual acting out with children; such use of
      child pornography can desensitize the viewer to the pathology of
      sexual abuse or exploitation of children, so that it can become
      acceptable to and even preferred by the viewer;
        "(5) new photographic and computer imagining [sic] technologies
      make it possible to produce by electronic, mechanical, or other
      means, visual depictions of what appear to be children engaging
      in sexually explicit conduct that are virtually indistinguishable
      to the unsuspecting viewer from unretouched photographic images
      of actual children engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
        "(6) computers and computer imaging technology can be used to -
          "(A) alter sexually explicit photographs, films, and videos
        in such a way as to make it virtually impossible for
        unsuspecting viewers to identify individuals, or to determine
        if the offending material was produced using children;
          "(B) produce visual depictions of child sexual activity
        designed to satisfy the preferences of individual child
        molesters, pedophiles, and pornography collectors; and
          "(C) alter innocent pictures of children to create visual
        depictions of those children engaging in sexual conduct;
        "(7) the creation or distribution of child pornography which
      includes an image of a recognizable minor invades the child's
      privacy and reputational interests, since images that are created
      showing a child's face or other identifiable feature on a body
      engaging in sexually explicit conduct can haunt the minor for
      years to come;
        "(8) the effect of visual depictions of child sexual activity
      on a child molester or pedophile using that material to stimulate
      or whet his own sexual appetites, or on a child where the
      material is being used as a means of seducing or breaking down
      the child's inhibitions to sexual abuse or exploitation, is the
      same whether the child pornography consists of photographic
      depictions of actual children or visual depictions produced
      wholly or in part by electronic, mechanical, or other means,
      including by computer, which are virtually indistinguishable to
      the unsuspecting viewer from photographic images of actual
      children;
        "(9) the danger to children who are seduced and molested with
      the aid of child sex pictures is just as great when the child
      pornographer or child molester uses visual depictions of child
      sexual activity produced wholly or in part by electronic,
      mechanical, or other means, including by computer, as when the
      material consists of unretouched photographic images of actual
      children engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
        "(10)(A) the existence of and traffic in child pornographic
      images creates the potential for many types of harm in the
      community and presents a clear and present danger to all
      children; and
        "(B) it inflames the desires of child molesters, pedophiles,
      and child pornographers who prey on children, thereby increasing
      the creation and distribution of child pornography and the sexual
      abuse and exploitation of actual children who are victimized as a
      result of the existence and use of these materials;
        "(11)(A) the sexualization and eroticization of minors through
      any form of child pornographic images has a deleterious effect on
      all children by encouraging a societal perception of children as
      sexual objects and leading to further sexual abuse and
      exploitation of them; and
        "(B) this sexualization of minors creates an unwholesome
      environment which affects the psychological, mental and emotional
      development of children and undermines the efforts of parents and
      families to encourage the sound mental, moral and emotional
      development of children;
        "(12) prohibiting the possession and viewing of child
      pornography will encourage the possessors of such material to rid
      themselves of or destroy the material, thereby helping to protect
      the victims of child pornography and to eliminate the market for
      the sexual exploitative use of children; and
        "(13) the elimination of child pornography and the protection
      of children from sexual exploitation provide a compelling
      governmental interest for prohibiting the production,
      distribution, possession, sale, or viewing of visual depictions
      of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct, including both
      photographic images of actual children engaging in such conduct
      and depictions produced by computer or other means which are
      virtually indistinguishable to the unsuspecting viewer from
      photographic images of actual children engaging in such conduct."
      Section 101(b) [title VII, Sec. 702] of Pub. L. 99-500 and Pub.
    L. 99-591 provided that: "The Congress finds that -
        "(1) child exploitation has become a multi-million dollar
      industry, infiltrated and operated by elements of organized
      crime, and by a nationwide network of individuals openly
      advertising their desire to exploit children;
        "(2) Congress has recognized the physiological, psychological,
      and emotional harm caused by the production, distribution, and
      display of child pornography by strengthening laws prescribing
      such activity;
        "(3) the Federal Government lacks sufficient enforcement tools
      to combat concerted efforts to exploit children prescribed by
      Federal law, and exploitation victims lack effective remedies
      under Federal law; and
        "(4) current rules of evidence, criminal procedure, and civil
      procedure and other courtroom and investigative procedures
      inhibit the participation of child victims as witnesses and
      damage their credibility when they do testify, impairing the
      prosecution of child exploitation offenses."
      Section 2 of Pub. L. 98-292 provided that: "The Congress finds
    that -
        "(1) child pornography has developed into a highly organized,
      multi-million-dollar industry which operates on a nationwide
      scale;
        "(2) thousands of children including large numbers of runaway
      and homeless youth are exploited in the production and
      distribution of pornographic materials; and
        "(3) the use of children as subjects of pornographic materials
      is harmful to the physiological, emotional, and mental health of
      the individual child and to society."
                        REPORT BY ATTORNEY GENERAL
      Section 101(b) [title VII, Sec. 705] of Pub. L. 99-500 and Pub.
    L. 99-591 required Attorney General, within one year after Oct. 18,
    1986, to submit a report to Congress detailing possible changes in
    Federal Rules of Evidence, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure,
    Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and other Federal courtroom,
    prosecutorial, and investigative procedures which would facilitate
    the participation of child witnesses in cases involving child abuse
    and sexual exploitation.
                         ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS
      Attorney General to report annually to Congress on prosecutions,
    convictions, and forfeitures under this chapter, see section 9 of
    Pub. L. 98-292, set out as a note under section 522 of Title 28,
    Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
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