A 56-year-old Iowa man was sentenced to 120 months in prison for being in possession of child pornography on Sept. 5. After his prison sentence ends, he will have 10 years of supervised release.
On May 11, 2016, the man was charged with possession of child porn after he was accused of posting an image to a cloud-based storage service. This image reportedly depicted child pornography. Law enforcement launched an investigation into the image, which resulted in a search warrant being issued for the accused man's residence. During the search, a computer with more than 300 images that depicted child pornography was discovered. The accused man entered a guilty plea for the charges on April 20.
Federal crimes are prosecuted differently than state-level crimes. As such, they have their own consequences that often include a minimum sentence if a person is convicted. For example, any violation of the federal child pornography law could face five to 20 years in prison for transporting child pornography across state lines. If an accused person has prior convictions associated with child pornography charges, the penalties can be even harsher.
There are other factors that could increase potential prison times. For example, if the images were particularly violent or if sexual abuse occurred, the amount of time a person could be sentenced to prison may be longer. Because the penalties are so severe, a criminal law attorney could challenge the charges. In some cases, the attorney may find that authorities conducted an illegal search and seizure, which means that the evidence could be suppressed. There may also be a lack of evidence, which may suggest that the accused person did not commit the federal crimes or that the crimes were committed accidentally with no intention of harm.
Source: Missouri Valley Times News, "Missouri Valley resident sentenced for possession of child pornography", 09/06/2017