A Louisiana man has been arrested and charged with setting up websites for online child pornography and the exploitation of children. If convicted on the federal charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Federal prosecutors say the man set up two websites that allowed registered members to view and upload child pornography. There were about 2,000 videos on the sites depicting children being exploited, prosecutors say. Prosecutors also say the websites carried instructions telling users how they might coerce young boys into appearing in pornography and how they might avoid law enforcement.
Police say there were 27,000 registered users on the websites. Another 10 men in different states have been charged with crimes related to the Louisiana investigation, authorities said.
Louisiana and federal prosecutors can be very aggressive in prosecuting defendants for any crime involving online child pornography or the sexual exploitation of children, and the penalties that go with a conviction can be severe. Because there is such a serious social stigma attached to these crimes, those facing these allegations are unlikely to win much sympathy from juries, the news media, the general public or even their friends and family.
However, the mere fact that a person has been accused of a crime does not mean that person is guilty of that crime. Investigations into online crime can involve very tangled chains of evidence. Part of building a defense in these cases involves poking holes in the prosecution's version of events and interpretation of the evidence.
The stakes are very high for anyone accused of these crimes in Louisiana. It is absolutely critical that the accused get experienced legal help so that they can create the strongest and most effective defense strategy possible under the circumstances.
Source: WAFB.com, "DOJ: Man creates child porn websites, teaches men to coerce young boys," Amber Stegall, Feb. 21, 2014