It is difficult to profile a person who gets involved with child pornography.
Viewers of child pornography come from all walks of life. Many of those involved tend to be white males between the ages of 26 and 40. Those involved include judges, doctors, professors, business leaders, academics, rock stars, soldiers and police officers. Most are heavy Internet users. There is a misconception that people who view child pornography go on to sexually abuse children. The statistics simply do not support this belief and in fact contradict it. People who view child pornography are not necessarily pedophiles. Less than ten percent, and according to some studies, as little as three percent are involved in abusing children. There are three basic categories of users.
Some people are simply browsers who out of curiosity view occasionally kiddie porn images, not saving the images or networking with others. Browsers often do not employ security strategies to avoid detection.In my experience as a child pornography lawyer, these are the ones that get caught the most often. As is often said, curiosity killed the cat.
Some people are what I call private fantasizers who view child porn to satisfy private fantasies. They generally do not network nor employ security to prevent detection. A person more deeply involved is the non-secure collector. They get the child porn in non secure chat rooms and are involved in networking. These offenders often get arrested because of interaction with other offenders and lack of security precautions. Further up the ladder is the “secure collector” that is heavily involved in collecting and gathering huge numbers of images categorized by types. The collection for them becomes an obsession.
Some people actually become “groomers”, physical abusers and producers of child pornography.
Unfortunately, in Florida, particularly here in Sarasota, law enforcement makes no distinction between the levels of offenders and treats all of them the same seeking long prison sentences. People are different and that is where the Florida Sentencing Guidelines fail to take into account the differences. As a sex crime defense lawyer, my job is to help the Court and the State attorney recognize the difference between those that deserve harsh punishment and others far down the ladder in terms of seriousness who need psychological treatment and counseling.
Sometimes, the issue is not guilt or innocence but rather “what is the appropriate punishment”. That is where having an experienced child pornography lawyer can make a huge difference. I have handled child pornography cases in both the Federal Courts and various Circuit Courts throughout Florida.