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Port St. Lucie Man Faces Federal Charges For Child Pornography


The issues facing law enforcement efforts to stop the distribution and proliferation of child pornography have just gotten harder in recent years. Today, encrypted social media and messaging apps provide users with a means of distributing child pornography clandestinely. With the advent of AI image generation, it’s becoming more difficult for law enforcement to tell if the image depicts a real child. In some cases, law enforcement raids live streams as they are occurring. Identifying the child provides them with the means to do this. At present, there are no means of distinguishing an AI-generated image from a real one.

In this case, a local man was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for having child sex abuse materials (CSAM) on his cell phone and in a locked storage account. The man was also a registered sex offender. After serving 12 years, he will face 15 years of supervised release.

Is that a standard sentence for child pornography charges? 

It seems excessively long, but there are a number of factors that weighed against this particular defendant. The most important of these factors was the prior registration as a sex offender. Second offenses are always punished more harshly than first offenses. It’s also true that being charged by the federal government usually results in longer sentences. Federal sentencing guidelines require mandatory minimums in most cases.

Next, there would be a question as to what type of child pornography the defendant had. Videos that depict sex abuse are considered the worst by authorities. And those that depict violent sex abuse are even worse. So, if the defendant is found with videos of a child being abused, then the sentence will be longer for images.

It is more than likely that the videos depicted violent sex abuse.

Catching perpetrators of sex abuse materials 

In this case, authorities were tipped off. Storage clouds can run scans on stored files and if it triggers a hit with a CSAM database, the account will be flagged. Today, AI image recognition allows companies to automate this process. While ultimately, false hits do occur, the data is reviewed by a person and that person suspects the material depicts a minor, they will act on that intelligence.

As for AI images, the law won’t necessarily make a distinction between a photograph and an AI image. Firstly, those databases need to be seeded with real images, so that would be illegal. If an AI could produce CSAM without being seeded with CSAM, it could produce a loophole in the law, but it is likely to be closed quickly. Authorities will arrest anyone suspected of having illegal material and force them to defend themselves.

Talk to a Port St. Lucie Criminal Defense Attorney 

Eighmie Law Firm represents the interests of those who have been charged with crimes. Call our Port St. Lucie criminal lawyers today and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.


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