Sexual Exploitation of Children

Possession of Child Pornography

The prevention of the exploitation of children is one of the highest priorities for law enforcement.  Law enforcement agencies devote vast resources to finding and charging individuals who commit crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children.  These crimes involve a wide range of conduct and usually include an electronic transmission.  Local agencies and the Federal Government actively seek people committing these crimes, even enticing people through chat rooms and other media to receive or share child pornography.  Sometimes, individuals receive child pornography in “batches” of legal pornography.  Because these incidents involve the transmission of child pornography through electronic transmission, they become the basis for a Federal Investigation.  If you have received child pornography through a web device it is possible you are the subject of an investigation.  If you have been contacted by law enforcement, Federal Agents, or anyone asking you questions about possession of child pornography contact an attorney immediately.  These allegations may affect your employment, immigration status, liberty, and family.  child protective services may become involved if there are young children living in the home of the individual alleged to have accessed Child Pornography.

State and Local Charges

Washington State aggressively prosecutes any crimes involving the exploitation of children.  These cases are top priority for the Special Assault units that investigate and prosecute sex crimes.  If you are the subject of this type of investigation or have been arrested or charged you should consult with an attorney to protect your rights and mitigate the impact of these damaging charges.  Michele has worked with clients in many jurisdictions throughout Washington to assertively defend against these charges she knows the system and can guide you through your options.

Federal Charges

If you have been involved in transmitting or receiving Child Pornography through the internet or mail, the Federal Government may be investigating your actions.  Federal Agents infiltrate all web media and create “sting” operations to entice people to view or share Child Pornography.  Sometimes the Government violates people’s rights during these operations.  If you have been contacted by anyone representing the Federal Government or have received a Target Letter contact and attorney immediately.  Michele has represented many people targeted by the Federal Government for violations of these laws.

Treatment Options

In some cases, treatment is an appropriate option to address Child Pornography charges.  Some individuals view an image once inadvertently and become interested and addicted to the material.  This can be an indication of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.  Treatment alternatives are available in Washington State and can sometimes support a resolution that does not include jail time.  Michele is experienced in working with individuals who have become interested in Child Pornography due to a mental health issue, a personal crisis, or lack of appropriate sexual outlet.  Michele has worked with numerous experts trained to evaluate you and help you back on a path to a healthy and productive life.

Possession of Child Pornography and Autism and Aspbergers

It is not uncommon for individuals with a mental health diagnosis such as Autism or Aspberger’s to become interested in child pornography.  For some of these individuals, who may be isolated by the symptoms of their condition, child pornography is a way to explore sexuality. As with other areas of interest with individuals who live with these disorders, child pornography can become addictive, requiring immediate sensitive treatment and redirection of sexual interest.  Michele has successfully defended many people in this situation, convincing prosecutors to file misdemeanor rather than felony charges and to not impose jail time.  Michele understands the distinctive characteristics of individuals with these unique brain functions.