No other crime in our society results in the strong, negative stigma and social scorn as do sexual crimes. The mere allegation of sexual impropriety can often have disastrous and long-lasting negative consequences. In fact, sexual offenses and allegations of sexual misconduct are among the most serious crimes which we handle. As such, federal law encompasses many sex-related crimes, including many crimes designed to protect children. If the allegations result in a conviction, a defendant may be required to be placed on a sexual offender registry.
For those charged with or being investigated for any of the sex crimes listed below, it is important to act quickly obtain the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The selection of the right attorney may be the most important decision you make as you move forward with your defense. For a free case evaluation, call the sex crimes defense attorneys at The McKellar Law Firm today at 865-566-0125.
The following statutes apply to violations of federal law. For violations of Tennessee statutes dealing with sex crimes, please visit our Tennessee Sex Crimes Page.
18 USC § 1466A – Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children
In general, this statute applies to anyone who:
* For the purposes of this section, a “minor” is any person under 18 years of age.
18 USC § 1470 – Transfer of Obscene Material to Minors
This statute applies to anyone who attempts of succeeds in using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce to knowingly transfer obscene matter to another individual who has not reached 16 years of age, knowing that such individual has not reached 16 years of age. Punishments includes fines, imprisonment of no more than 10 years, or both.
18 USC § 1591 – Sex Trafficking of Children or By Force, Fraud, or Coercion
This statute applies to anyone who knowingly:
The punishments for offenses under this statute are as follows:
* In circumstances in which the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe the person so recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained or maintained, the Government does not need to prove that the defendant knew that the person was under 18 years of age.
18 USC § 2241 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse
Statutes and punishments regarding aggravated sexual abuse include both completed acts and attempts to commit such acts and are subdivided as follows:
* The Government does not need not prove that the defendant knew that the other person engaging in the sexual act had not attained the age of 12 years.
18 USC § 2242 – Sexual Abuse
This statute applies to anyone who engages or attempts to engage in a sexual act with another person who is:
Punishments include fines and imprisonment for any term of years or life.
18 USC § 2243 – Sexual Abuse of a Minor or Ward
Punishments regarding sexual abuse of a minor or ward include fines, imprisonment of no more than 15 years, or both and are subdivided as follows:
* The Government does not need to prove that the defendant knew the age of the other person engaging in the sexual act or that the requisite age difference existed between the persons so engaging.
18 USC § 2244 – Abusive Sexual Contact
Punishments regarding abusive sexual contact can range from imprisonment of no more than two years to a life sentence, as well as possible additional fines, and are based on individual factors, such as the following:
18 USC § 2250 – Failure to Register
In General, whoever is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) and knowingly fails to register or update a registration as required by SORNA, shall be fined, imprisoned for no more than 10 years, or both.
Additional punishments for individuals who are required to register under SORNA and commit a Crime of Violence under Federal law include imprisonment ranging from 5 years to 30 years, depending on individual circumstances.
18 USC § 2251 – Sexual Exploitation of Children
Punishments regarding the sexual exploitation of children can range from imprisonment of no less than 15 years to a life sentence, as well as possible additional fines. Determining factors that may result in longer sentences or a death sentence include prior convictions of certain sex crimes. Sexual Exploitation of Children violations include:
· Any person who employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any minor to 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; or
· Any person who transports any minor 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
18 USC § 2251A – Selling or Buying of Children
This statute pertains to any parent, legal guardian, or other person having custody or control of a minor who:
This section additionally pertains to any person who:
Punishments for violations of this section include fines and imprisonment of no less than 30 years or life.
18 USC § 2252 – Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors
Punishments regarding violations of this section can range from imprisonment of no less than 5 years and up to 40 years, as well as possible additional fines. Determining factors affecting the length of the sentence include prior convictions of certain sex crimes and the victim’s age.
Violations under this section include any person who, by any means of facility or foreign commerce, or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce (including computer and mails):
18 USC § 2252A – Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography
Punishments regarding violations of this section can range from imprisonment of no less than 5 years and up to 40 years, as well as possible additional fines. Determining factors affecting the length of the sentence include prior convictions of certain sex crimes, the victim’s age, and individual circumstances surrounding the violation(s).
Violations under this section include any person who, by any means of facility or foreign commerce, or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce (including computer or mails):
Additionally, individuals who engage in Child Exploitation Enterprises under this section may face imprisonment for no less than 20 years or for life. statutes under this section who are engage in may face. Enterprises include any group of two or more individuals that are associated in fact, whether or not they are a legal entity.
18 USC § 2252B – Misleading Domain Names on the Internet
This statute applies to anyone who:
18 USC § 2258 – Failure to Report Child Abuse
Under this section, any person who, while engaged in a professional capacity or activity learns of facts that give reason to suspect that a child has suffered an incident of child abuse and fails to make a timely report shall face fines, imprisonment of no more than 1 year, or both.
18 USC § 2260 – Production of Sexually Explicit Depictions of a Minor for Importation into the United States
Punishments regarding violations of this section can range from imprisonment of no less than 5 years and up to life or death sentences, as well as possible additional fines. Determining factors affecting the length of the sentence include prior convictions of certain sex crimes, the victim’s age, and individual circumstances surrounding the violation(s). Violations under this section include:
18 USC § 2260A – Penalties for Registered Sex Offenders
This statue applies to anyone who is required by Federal or any other law to register as a sex offender commits certain felony offenses involving a minor, such as kidnapping or any violations concerning sexual crimes. The punishment shall be an additional 10-year sentence, to be served consecutively, added to the imprisonment imposed for the offense under that provision.
18 USC § 2421 – Transportation Generally
This statue applies to anyone who attempts or knowingly transports any individual in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, with the intent that such individual engage in prostitution or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense. Punishments included fines, imprisonment of no more than 10 years, or both.
18 USC § 2422 – Coercion and Enticement
This statue applies to anyone who:
18 USC § 2423 – Transportation of Minors
Statutes and punishments regarding the transportation of minors include attempts or conspiracies to do so and are subdivided as follows:
* Under this title, illicit sexual conduct generally applies to any sexual act with a person under 18 years of age.
18 USC § 2425 – Use of Interstate Facilities to Transmit Information about a Minor
This statutes applies to anyone who attempts or succeeds in using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, to knowingly initiate the transmission of the name, address, telephone number, social security number, or electronic mail address of another individual, knowing that such other individual has not attained the age of 16 years, with the intent to entice, encourage, offer, or solicit any person to engage in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense. Punishments include fines, imprisonment of no more than 5 years, or both.
18 USC § 2426 – Repeat Offenders
Repeat offenders are those individuals who have any prior sex offense conviction(s). In general, the maximum term of imprisonment shall be twice the term of imprisonment otherwise provided for the violated statute.
18 USC § 2428 – Forfeitures
This statute describes any additional fines that may be imposed on an individual who is found to violate any Federal sex laws. In general, the court may command that a person convicted of any violations of this chapter must forfeit:
Below are several definitions for terms often used when dealing with sex-related crimes:
Age of consent – The age at which criminal statutes acknowledge that an individual is capable of consenting to sexual acts, which varies by state.
Aggravated – Any circumstances during the commission of a crime that increase its seriousness or the injury
Child pornography – means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct
Coercion – the use of force or threats of serious harm, including the use of physical restraint(s), against any person, intended to cause a person to do something against their will
Forcible Sex Offenses – the act of forcible sexual intercourse with any person with some forcible compulsion to submit despite earnest resistance
Mistake of Fact – An error, incorrect decision or assumption, or a misunderstanding caused by the ignorance or facts or circumstances. As it relates to statutory rape and several other federal sex crimes, it does not matter if the perpetrator did not know that the victim was below the age of consent.
Molestation – the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children
Non-forcible Sex Offenses – sexual acts with individuals who are not capable of giving consent to sexual acts. Determining factors to determine an individual’s incapability may vary from state to state, but federal laws generally include those who, at the time of the crime, were underage victims, those who were physically helpless, and those who are permanently mentally disabled or were temporarily mentally incompetent. Consent is not considered to be a valid defense to the crime
Rape – sexual intercourse without consent and accomplished through force, threat of violence or intimidation
Rape Shield Laws – laws enacted to protect victims from the emotional trauma of being questioned about their sexual history on the witness stand
Sexting – the act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones. In the U.S A teenager texting sexually explicit photographs of him/herself, or of their friends or partners, can be charged with distribution of child pornography and those who receive the images can been charged with possession of child pornography.
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) – the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248). SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States.
Statutory Rape – sexual relations with anyone who has not reached the legal age of consent
For a free case evaluation, call the sex crimes defense attorneys at The McKellar Law Firm today at 865-566-0125.