What Constitutes Child Pornography under Wisconsin Law - Milwaukee Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

Wisconsin law considers any material that records or displays, in any way, a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct to be “child pornography.” Being in possession of child pornography is a Class D felony in Wisconsin. So is showing it to others.

What Exactly Is Child Pornography?

For the purposes of Wisconsin pornography law, a child is anyone under the age of 18. In order to convict you of possession of child pornography, the prosecution has to show that you knew, or reasonably should have known, that the person depicted is a child.

The material can be written, photographic, drawn, filmed, or any other kind of recording.

Content that counts as sexually explicit conduct can be acts simulated or actually performed by minors.

Under Wisconsin’s child pornography law, sexually explicit acts include:

  • Sexual intercourse, no matter how slight the penetration or whether with an object or body part
  • Bestiality
  • Masturbation
  • Sexual sadism or sexual masochistic abuse
  • Lewd exhibition of intimate body parts.

What Are the Penalties for Possessing Child Pornography?

In April 2012, Wisconsin legislators set a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years for possession of child pornography. A conviction carries a fine of up to $100,000 or 25 years of jail time, or a combination of both. For a repeat offender, the imprisonment time can be extended up to 6 years.

If you are a minor and no more than 4 years older than the victim, you may fall into a special category for sentencing. Your Milwaukee criminal defense attorney will be able to explain if this applies to you.

What to Tell Your Lawyer

A child pornography conviction can leave an ugly mark on your record. Your attorney will do his or her best to build a solid defense if you are charged with possession of child pornography.

If you didn’t know the person depicted the pornography was a minor, you need to make that clear to the courts. Perhaps you didn’t even know you were in possession of the material, or you knew you had it, but you didn’t know what it was. That information can help build your case.