Whitesburg KY
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
69°F
 

Texting, or even viewing, videos or photos of child porn is a crime

Beware of what you view online …

One of the myriad sex charges faced by nurse practitioner Carrie Lee Hall could come back to bite the very people who have attacked her on social media.

Among the 26 charges against Hall involving a 16-year-old boy are seven counts related to what is commonly known as child pornography, apparently stemming from videos, photographs or both, which were allegedly exchanged between the two.

Numerous people around the county have been claiming for weeks to have seen videos involving Hall and the boy, and therein lies the problem. It is illegal to even view images of a minor in a sexual act, much less transfer them or show them to another person.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison Banks has not said whether videos exist, but Hall is charged with three counts of “Possession or Viewing of Matter Portraying a Sexual Performance by a Minor.”

That charge is covered by Kentucky Revised Statutes 531.335, which says in part:

“(1) A person is guilty of possession or viewing of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor when, having knowledge of its content, character, and that the sexual performance is by a minor, he or she:

(a) Knowingly has in his or her possession or control any matter which visually depicts an actual sexual performance by a minor person; or

(b) Intentionally views any matter which visually depicts an actual sexual performance by a minor person.”

The law doesn’t apply to accident or inadvertent viewing, to viewing in the course of a law enforcement investigation, court case, or by the minor, minor’s parents or school administrators investigating violation involving intentional viewing of such materials.

Trooper Matt Gayheart, public information officer for Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard, said people should understand that viewing any such tape would be a crime, and distributing it to others is even more serious.

““Having possession of something depicting a minor involved in sexual activity of any kind is a felony in itself,” Gayheart said. “My recommendation would be that if you have knowledge of a video depicted a minor engaged in sexual activity, not to view that material.”

Viewing such material is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Distributing child pornography — which experts say would include posting it on the Internet or sending it to someone in an electronic message — is a Class D felony for the first offense, but a Class C felony for each subsequent offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Leave a Reply